CIS football players of the week: Heather, Dika-Balotoken, Ferraro honoured


Sept. 4, 2013, OTTAWA (CIS) – Bishop’s quarterback Jordan Heather, Queen’s defensive back Yann Dika-Balotoken and Guelph kicker Daniel Ferraro are the CIS football players of the week for the period ending Sept. 2, 2013.

Heather, a fifth-year history student from Oromocto, N.B., was honoured on offence after he led the Gaiters to a 28-27 season-opening upset win over then-nationally eighth-ranked Sherbrooke, on Sunday afternoon. The 6-foot, 185-pound senior completed 70 percent of his passes (26 of 37) for 387 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions as Bishop’s snapped a four-game losing streak against its cross-town rivals. With his team trailing 27-25 late in the contest, Heather hit the target on each of his five passing attempts during a 74-yard drive which led to the game-winning field goal.

McMaster receiver Daniel Vandervoort and Manitoba running back Anthony Coombs were also up for the award.

Dika-Balotoken, a third-year kinesiology student from Toronto, took home the weekly honour on defence after he returned a pair of interceptions for touchdowns to lift the No. 2 Gaels to a 31-24 victory over No. 6 McMaster in front of 7,600 local fans at Richardson Stadium, on Monday. The 5-foot-8, 155-pound speedster scored on a spectacular 99-yard play early in the second half to make it 21-7 Queen’s, and then increased the lead to 31-10 two minutes into the fourth quarter thanks to a 70-yard major. Dika-Balotoken also had 4.5 tackles, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery in the win, which marked McMaster’s first defeat in 20 contests against an OUA opponent, dating back to 2011.

Montreal linebacker Byron Archambault and Calgary cornerback Adam Laurensse were also nominated.

Ferraro, a third-year psychology student from Mississauga, Ont., was the choice on special teams thanks to his three field goals in a narrow 24-23 win against Windsor, including the game-winner from 17 yards out with eight seconds left in regulation. The 5-foot-8, 180-pound junior, who was playing in place of injured kicker Julian Tropea, also split the uprights from 32 and 20 yards out while averaging a remarkable 64.8 yards on four kickoffs and a respectable 39.6 yards on 12 punts.

Laval kicker Boris Bede and UBC returner Alex Morrison were the other nominees.

Offensive nominees:

  • AUS: No league games scheduled
  • RSEQ: Jordan Heather, quarterback, Bishop’s (recipient)
  • OUA: Daniel Vandervoort, receiver, McMaster
  • CWUAA: Anthony Coombs, running back, Manitoba

Defensive nominees:

  • AUS: No league games scheduled
  • RSEQ: Byron Archambault, linebacker, Montreal
  • OUA: Yann Dika-Balotoken, defensive back, Queen’s (recipient)
  • CWUAA: Adam Laurensse, cornerback, Calgary

Special team nominees:

  • AUS: No league games scheduled
  • RSEQ: Boris Bede, kicker, Laval
  • OUA: Daniel Ferraro, kicker, Guelph (recipient)
  • CWUAA: Alex Morrison, returner, UBC
Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.