Burlington, Ont. – Chris Merchant, Luke Griese, and Daniel Diodati have been named Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Football Players of the Week for the period ending September 23, 2018.
Offence: Chris Merchant, Western Mustangs
With top spot in the OUA on the line, the Western Mustangs offence came out firing on all cylinders on Saturday against the Waterloo Warriors, and QB Chris Merchant was right in the thick of it.
The team as a whole registered 67 points on the day, with Merchant doing plenty of damage with his arm. The Vanier Cup MVP showcased his strong accuracy, completing 20-of-24 passes, while throwing for 348 yards and six touchdowns. Merchant needed only two receivers – Brett Ellerman and Cole Majoros – to record his impressive collection of majors, which included three in the first quarter, two in the third frame, and the longest of the day coming via a 61-yard connection in the second.
For good measure, Merchant also ran three times for 41 yards, helping the top-ranked Mustangs remain undefeated on the year.
Defence: Luke Griese, Ottawa Gee-Gees
Griese had a standout defensive performance for the Gee-Gees in their 42-16 win against the York Lions on Saturday.
The Newmarket, Ont. native had the best game of his career, stuffing the stat sheet with seven solo tackles and three assisted tackles for 8.5 overall, while also registering one sack for nine yards and 1.5 tackles for a loss. He wasn’t done there; however, as the second-year safety added two interceptions for 33 yards.
Griese’s three interceptions on the year now have him tied for first place in the OUA with teammate Jamie Harry.
Special Teams: Daniel Diodati, Toronto Varsity Blues
A second-year receiver, Daniel Diodati racked up 158 all-purpose yards in the Varsity Blues football team’s heated contest with the No. 6 Carleton Ravens on Saturday afternoon at Varsity Stadium.
The sociology major made five punt returns for 128 yards, including a beautiful 99-yard return for a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter. Diodati also had one rush for five yards and a major in the second quarter.
A native of Etobicoke, Ont., Diodati rounded out his day by hauling in six receptions for 25 yards.