Evan Daum, Canada West Communications
Photo courtesy Johany Jutras, CFL.ca
- Running back Kienan LaFrance helped the Ottawa REDBLACKS to the franchise's first Grey Cup with two clutch playoff performances
- The former University of Manitoba Bison burst onto the national scene with an epic 157-yard rushing performance in the Eastern Division Final against the Edmonton Eskimos back on November 20th
- LaFrance posted 73 all-purpose yards in the 104th Grey Cup, as Ottawa downed Calgary 39-33 in just the third Grey Cup game ever to go to overtime
The Ottawa REDBLACK is the fifth player to be recognized with the award this season, joining previous winners Anthony Parker (July – Calgary Stampeders/Calgary Dinos), Taylor Loffler (August – Winnipeg Blue Bombers/UBC Thunderbirds), Sean McEwen (September – Toronto Argonauts/Calgary Dinos), and Mike Edem (October – BC Lions/Calgary Dinos).
The award honours a former Canada West football player each month during the Canadian Football League season.
A second-year REDBLACK running back and product of the University of Manitoba, LaFrance helped Ottawa to the top of the CFL in just their third season.
LaFrance, who posted 163 total rushing yards during the regular season, got the ball 25 times in the Eastern Division Final against the Edmonton Eskimos earlier this month and made the most of his chance to shine.
The Winnipeg native racked up 157 rushing yards and a touchdown in Ottawa's 35-23 win over Edmonton at snowy TD Place Stadium, as the REDBLACKS punched their ticket to the big game for a second consecutive season.
LaFrance, who was selected in the sixth round of the 2015 CFL Draft after posting 785 rushing yards with Manitoba during the 2014 Canada West season, had another strong showing in the Grey Cup at Toronto's BMO Field.
Posting a game-high 42 rushing yards, Lafrance added 31 receiving yards to finish with 73 all-purpose yards, as Ottawa captured the city's first Grey Cup title in four decades.
Canada West talent in the Grey Cup
In total, eight former Canada West players suited up in Sunday's 104th Grey Cup, as five Stampeders and three REDBLACKS played in the thrilling overtime contest.
Along with LaFrance, two other conference products will now have their names etched in Grey Cup history as champions, with former University of Calgary Dinos Jake Harty (REC) and Tanner Doll (LB) also earning Grey Cup rings.
On the Stampeders side, former Dinos Anthony Parker (REC), Dan Federkeil (OL), and Andrew Buckley (QB) were joined by ex-Saskatchewan Huskies Charlie Power (RB) and Dexter Janke (DB).
Buckley, who equalled legendary Ottawa Rough Riders quarterback Russ Jackson's 54-year-old record of eight rushing TDs by a Canadian quarterback during the regular season, found the end zone for the Stamps early in the fourth quarter.