OTTAWA (CIS) – It was a record-setting day for quarterback Andrew Buckley, kicker Johnny Mark and the nationally top-ranked University of Calgary Dinos, who wrapped up an unblemished 8-0 regular season with a dominating 64-28 road win over the Alberta Golden Bears in Canada West football action, Saturday at Foote Field in Edmonton.
Playing in the final conference game of his brilliant U of C career, Buckley passed for 463 yards, including a mind-boggling 410 in the first half, to set a new CIS single-season record with 3,162. Needing 437 yards on the day to shatter the previous national standard of 3,136 yards set last Saturday by Ottawa’s Derek Wendel, the reigning Hec Crighton Trophy winner moved past Wendel with a 49-yard touchdown pass to Rashaun Simonise 93 seconds into the third quarter, and was taken out of the game after the scoring play which made it 41-7 Dinos.
Buckley, who was selected by his hometown Calgary Stampeders in the seventh round of the 2015 CFL draft, ended up completing 20 of 27 passes for three touchdowns and his first interception of the season to finish the campaign with a remarkable 19-1 TD-to-interception ratio and a Canada West-record 72.0% completion percentage (177 of 246).
For his part, Mark, also a fifth-year senior playing in his final conference game, kicked four field goals to tie the CIS single-season record of 26 established a year ago by Guelph’s Daniel Ferraro. The 2014 CFL draft pick matched Ferraro’s standard thanks to a 39-yarder with 4:19 left in the contest.
With 19 points against the Bears, the native of Peterborough, Ont., also set a CIS season mark for kickers with 144 points, breaking the previous record of 130 set two years ago by Western’s Lirim Hajrullahu. Mark’s 144 points are good for a tie for third place on the overall CIS list, trailing only the 150 points by StFX’s running back Paul Brule in 1967 and the 148 points by Ottawa running back and kicker Neil Lumsden in 1975.
Mark also added to his own CIS career records for points (535) and field goals (91) in Calgary’s league finale.
Thanks in large part to Buckley and Mark, the high-flying Dinos finished the regular season with a Canada West-record 471 points scored, easily bettering their own conference standard of 419 set last fall. Calgary’s output ranks fourth on the CIS list behind Western (494 points this season), Laval (481 in 2003) and Saint Mary’s (480 in 2001).
NOTE: The Buckley-Wendel race for the CIS passing yards record was reminiscent of the 2013 battle between Bishop’s Jordan Heather and Western’s Will Finch, who finished his OUA season with a record 3,047 yards only to see Heather end his RSEQ campaign a week later with 3,132.
CIS 3,000 PASSING YARD CLUB
3162 Andrew Buckley, Calgary (2015)
3136 Derek Wendel, Ottawa (2015)
3132 Jordan Heather, Bishop’s (2013)
3047 Will Finch, Western (2013)
3033 Michael Faulds, Western (2009)
3001 Tommy Denison, Queen’s (2002)