TORONTO (CIS) – In terms of record-breaking performances, the 2015 season could prove a tough act to follow for this year's CIS football standouts.
CIS football record book: CLICK HERE
In what turned out to be one of the most entertaining campaigns in recent memory, some of the most prestigious national standards were rewritten last fall, especially at the quarterback position. The list of CIS passing records set a year ago includes:
Single-season yards (3,162): Andrew Buckley, Calgary
Single-season touchdowns (31): Asher Hastings, McMaster
Single-season completions (216): Derek Wendel, Ottawa
Single-season attempts (346): Derek Wendel, Ottawa
Single-season completion percentage (76.7): Marc-Antoine Langevin, Laval
Career yards (11,477): Jérémi Roch, Sherbrooke
Career completions (866): Jérémi Roch, Sherbrooke
Career attempts (1,470): Jérémi Roch, Sherbrooke
At other positions, all-Canadian kicker Johnny Mark made the most of his fifth and final season with Calgary, setting or tying CIS marks for single-season field goals (26 – tied), career field goals (91) and career points (535).
Taking advantage of strong quarterback play across the country, Ottawa's Ian Stewart (1,091), Calgary's Rashaun Simonise (1,079) and Saskatchewan's Mitch Hillis (1,052) all surpassed the 1,000-yard plateau in receiving yards, marking the first time in CIS annals that three players accomplished the feat in the same campaign.
On the other side of the ball, Laval defensive end Mathieu Betts – the reigning CIS rookie of the year - was nearly unstoppable in his university debut, finishing the eight-game RSEQ schedule with 12 quarterback sacks, a new national standard for a freshman and only 0.5 sack shy of the single-season CIS record.
From a team perspective, the Western Mustangs became the highest-scoring squad in CIS history with a whopping 494 points (61.6 points per game) and also set a new single-season benchmark with 64 touchdowns.
While Buckley – the Hec Crighton Trophy winner each of the past two seasons - and Roch have completed their eligibility and will no longer terrorize opposing CIS defences this fall, Hastings and Wendel are back leading the Marauders and Gee-Gees, respectively, and will definitely be players to keep an eye on in the coming months.
In McMaster's 2016 opener against Carleton last Sunday, Hastings picked up where he left off a year ago with four touchdown passes and 320 yards in a convincing 40-10 home win. He will get a chance to keep his remarkable run going on Labour Day when the nationally eighth-ranked Marauders (1-0) host Toronto (0-1).
Among the talented receivers Hastings gets to throw the ball to every week, fourth-year senior Danny Vandervoort could very well join his teammate in the record books by the time the season is over. Vandervoort, who opened the new campaign with four catches for 197 yards and two touchdowns against Carleton, is the CIS active leader in career receiving yards (2,143) and touchdowns (26), and ranks third among active players in career receptions (119). His 26 receiving majors rank fifth in CIS annals, only two behind third place.
For his part, Wendel is set to kick off his season on Monday at Waterloo (0-1) as the Gee-Gees (0-0) enjoyed a bye in Week 1. In his fourth campaign with Ottawa a year ago, Wendel not only set new national standards for completions and attempts, he also held the single-season CIS passing yards record for a week (3,136), only to see Andrew Buckley move passed him in the Dinos' league finale (3,162).
Here are some of the CIS career leaders among active players going into Labour Day weekend, and where they rank on the all-time list in their respective categories.
Scoring (points): Lewis Ward, Ottawa, 231 (59th all-time)
All-purpose touchdowns: Yannick Harou, Western, 25 (29th) *
Passing yards: Drew Burko, Saskatchewan, 7,549 (28th)
Passing touchdowns: Drew Burko, Saskatchewan, 50 (33rd)
Passing completions: Drew Burko, Saskatchewan, 572 (16th)
Passing attempts: Drew Burko, Saskatchewan, 951 (20th)
Rushing touchdowns: Yannick Harou, Western, 25 (30th) *
Receptions: Tylor Henry, Alberta, 131 (60th)
Receiving yards: Danny Vandervoort, McMaster, 2,143 (60th)
Receiving touchdowns: Danny Vandervoort, McMaster, 26 (5th)
Punt return yards: Ryan Nieuwesteeg, Guelph, 1,658 (13th)
Field goals: Lewis Ward, Ottawa, 45 (49th)
* Currently injured, did not play in Western's season opener
REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE: WEEK 2 (all times local)
NOTE: Click HERE for the complete 2016 regular season schedule & results
19:00 No. 7 Calgary (0-0) at No. 5 Manitoba (0-0) (Shaw TV/Access & CanadaWest.TV)
19:15 No. 4 Western (1-0) at No. 9 Carleton (0-1) (OUA.TV)
12:00 Toronto (0-1) at No. 8 McMaster (1-0) (Cable 14 & OUA.TV)
13:00 No. 6 Guelph (1-0) at Windsor (0-1) (TVCogeco & OUA.TV)
13:00 Ottawa (0-0) at Waterloo (1-0) (Rogers TV Waterloo & OUA.TV)
19:30 York (0-1) at Laurier (1-0) (Rogers TV Waterloo – tape delayed & OUA.TV)