November 4, 2013, EDMONTON (ISN) – Nic Desmki (Manitoba), along with Thomas Spoletini and Johnny Mark (Calgary) have been selected Canada West football Players of the Week.
Demski helped lead Manitoba to a thrilling 37-36 victory over Saskatchewan, while Spoletini and Mark each played a big role as Calgary rallied from an early 17-point deficit to down UBC.
OFFENCE: #9 Nic Demski, Manitoba
- Home: Winnipeg, MB
- Height: 6-0
- Year: 3rd
- Academic: Arts
Manitoba Bisons slotback/kick returner Nic Demski was a major force in a thrilling, come-from-behind 37-36 victory for the #9 Manitoba Bisons football team over the #10 Saskatchewan Huskies at home during one of the Canada West Semi-Final games on Fri., Nov. 1 at Investors Group Field. He was instrumental in the Bisons rallying from two 12 point deficits in the fourth quarter as he caught three touchdowns in the final quarter, including the game-winning 32 yard touchdown with only 1:23 left in the contest.
The third year multi-purpose player led the team with seven receptions for 115 yards and added 38 punt return yards as Manitoba won for the first time against the Huskies in a post-season football game since the 1973 season and now advanced to the Canada West Final (Hardy Cup) for the first time since their 2007 Vanier Cup Championship season.
Demski had four of his seven grabs in the fourth quarter and started the comeback when he hauled in a 39 yard TD pass from QB Jordan Yantz early in the fourth to cut the Huskies lead to 29-24. Again with only five minutes left in the fourth, Demski struck again as Yantz found him for a 13 yard TD pass and the visitors lead was cut to 36-31. Finally, the Winnipeg native shielded his defender away from the ball and caught the game-winning 32 yard TD pass for Manitoba’s first lead in the fourth.
Demski led all participants in the exciting playoff game with 154 all-purpose yards.
Manitoba (5-3, 1-0) now travels on the road against the #3 Calgary Dinos (8-0, 1-0) in the Canada West Final (77th Hardy Cup) playoff game on Saturday, November 9 at 2:00 p.m. MST.
DEFENCE: #27 Thomas Spoletini, Calgary
- Home: Calgary, AB
- Height: 6-2
- Year: 4th
- Academic: Arts
Thomas Spoletini had a solid outing all around for the University of Calgary Dinos in Saturday’s 42-28 playoff win over UBC, but there’s one play that stands above the rest.
After Mercer Timmis gave the Dinos the lead for the second time of the night early in the fourth quarter, UBC took over on their own 28 yard line. On the very first play, Patrick Bull hauled in a pass and rumbled downfield, seemingly destined for the end zone. Spoletini, a fourth-year linebacker drafted by the Saskatchewan Roughriders, wasn’t having any of that and came across the field to catch up with the speedy receiver, hauling him down at the 15-yard line.
The touchdown-saving – and maybe season-saving – tackle set up a short UBC field goal as the Thunderbirds left the drive with three points rather than seven, and Calgary maintained a lead at 28-27. Timmis scored again on the Dinos’ next drive to put the game out of reach.
Spoletini finished the game with five tackles and one tackle for loss as the Dinos qualified for the Hardy Cup for a sixth consecutive year. They’ll host the Manitoba Bisons for the Canada West banner Saturday, Nov. 9 at McMahon Stadium, with kickoff at 2 p.m. MT live on Shaw TV and CanadaWest.tv.
SPECIAL TEAMS: #33 Johnny Mark, Calgary
- Home: Peterborough, ON
- Height: 6-0
- Year: 3rd
- Academic: Science
Under poor field conditions, kickers become all the more important – and third-year University of Calgary Dinos kicker Johnny Mark came up huge for his team in a 42-28 win over UBC Saturday afternoon.
On slippery turf at a snow-covered McMahon Stadium, Mark went 4-for-4 in field goals, including a 41-yarder, to help the Dinos close the gap in the second quarter after going down 17-0 in the early going. His other boots came from 34, 10, and 30 yards as Calgary chipped away, then pulled away in the late stages.
From a punting perspective, Mark booted the ball downfield nine times for a 41.8-yard average in the snowy conditions.
He and the Dinos will look to capture their sixth straight Canada West title Saturday when they host the Manitoba Bisons in the 77th Hardy Cup at McMahon Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. MT, live on Shaw TV and CanadaWest.tv.
Next Players of the Week: Monday, November 11