Football Players of the Week: Hardy Cup champs Loffler, van Gylswyk earn honours
Fresh off their 34-26 victory in the 79th Hardy Cup, UBC Thunderbirds Taylor Loffler (defence) and Quinn van Gylswyk (special teams) have been named Canada Football Players of the Week.
Calgary Dinos quarterback Andrew Buckley rounds out the weekly winners, as the Offensive Player of the Week.
Loffler, a second-year safety from Kelowna, BC, led the T-Birds’ defensive charge against Calgary’s high-powered offence, racking up a game-high 11.5 tackles.
On special teams, van Gylswyk was a difference maker in all areas of the kicking game. The third-year Victoria native accounted for 16 of UBC’s 34 points, going 4-for-4 on field goals, while also adding a rouge on the game’s opening kickoff. He also recorded a punt average of 49.1 yards, with a trio of punts pinning the Dinos inside the 20-yard line.
Rounding out the winners this week is Buckley, who despite coming up on the wrong end of the score, was once again terrific, throwing for 447 yards and a touchdown.
Buckley, who earlier in the week was named Canada West’s nominee for CIS football’s most outstanding player award the Hec Crighton, completed his collegiate career as one of the most-decorated Dinos quarterbacks in program history.
While Calgary’s season came to an end Saturday, the Thunderbirds’ 2015 campaign lives on, as UBC faces the St. FX X-Men in the Uteck Bowl this Saturday in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The game can be seen live on Sportsnet 360 with the winner earning the right to play for the national championship – the Vanier Cup – on Saturday, November 28.
OFFENCE – Andrew Buckley
6-0, 201, 5th-year
It was far from the final collegiate game quarterback Andrew Buckley wanted, but nonetheless, the Canada West Player of the Year did everything he could in Calgary’s first loss of the season.
Throwing for 447 yards and a touchdown, Buckley was once again the Dinos’ leader on offence – just as he was countless times over the course of his Calgary career.
The game marked the sixth time this season Buckley threw for more than 400 yards, after the veteran pivot accomplished the feat five times during a regular season that saw him break the CIS single-season passing record with 3,162 yards.
Buckley’s season on the field is now in the books, but he has some business remaining off the gridiron, as he waits to see if he’s won a second consecutive Hec Crighton Trophy as CIS football’s outstanding player. The winner will be announced Thursday, November 26 in the lead up to the Vanier Cup in Quebec City.
DEFENCE – Taylor Loffler
6-3, 220, 2nd-year
UBC’s first Hardy Cup title since 1997 was led in large part by a defence that bent – giving up 606 yards of offence to the Dinos – but never broke.
Safety Taylor Loffler was a big part of the Thunderbirds defensive effort, recording a game-high 11.5 tackles, for a UBC defence that came out of the gates hustling to the ball and making the most of their tackle opportunities.
Loffler finishes the Canada West season with three Defensive Player of the Week awards, after also earning the honour Weeks 2 and 5 during the regular season.
SPECIAL TEAMS - Quin van Gylswyk
For the second consecutive week, Quinn van Gylswyk is the Canada West Special Teams Player of the Week. The Victoria, BC product’s big leg was a key part of UBC’s win.
The 6-4 kicker booted the opening kickoff through the back of the end zone at McMahon Stadium for a rouge and also added a trio of extra points on the T-Birds’ three touchdowns.
But the third-year student made his biggest contributions by going a perfect 4-for-4 on field goals and punting a trio of kicks inside the Calgary 20-yard line, helping UBC win the field position battle for the majority of the afternoon.
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