FB players of the week: Dinos, T-Birds setup Hardy Cup rematch

Calgary QB Adam Sinagra helped lead the Dinos to a third consecutive matchup with UBC in the Hardy Cup.
Calgary QB Adam Sinagra helped lead the Dinos to a third consecutive matchup with UBC in the Hardy Cup.

Evan Daum, Canada West Communications


  • Calgary QB Adam Sinagra (offence), UBC LB Ben Hladik (defence), and Calgary kicker Niko DiFonte (special teams) are the CW football players of the week from Hardy Cup Semifinal weekend
  • Sinagra tossed 457 yards in the Calgary Dinos' 39-22 win over the Alberta Golden Bears, while Hladik and UBC's defence stepped up when needed most to down the Regina Rams 28-21
  • Calgary and UBC will now become the first teams to meet in three consecutive Hardy Cups, as they go head-to-head in the 81st Hardy Cup Saturday, Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. MST 

EDMONTON – Adam Sinagra, Ben Hladik, and Niko DiFonte did their part to setup a historic Hardy Cup rematch.

The trio were named the Canada West football players of the week following the Hardy Cup Semifinals this past weekend, as the Calgary Dinos and UBC Thunderbirds punched their tickets to the 81st Hardy Cup. The game, slated for Saturday, Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. MST, marks the first time ever the same two teams will meet in three straight Hardy Cups.

Offensively, Sinagra led the charge for Calgary in their 39-22 win over the Alberta Golden Bears with 457 passing yards, while kicker DiFonte did his part on special teams, accounting for 21 points. 


On defence, Hladik helped UBC to a win over the Regina Rams for the second consecutive season in the Hardy Cup Semis, as the Thunderbirds earned a 28-21 win at home. The rookie linebacker did his part with a game-high 9.5 tackles.

Now, all that remains on the 2017 CW football schedule is the 81st Hardy Cup. The big game goes this Saturday at 1 p.m. MST at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.  

You can watch the game on the Canada West Football Showcase (SaskTel, TELUS, BellMTS), or online at Canada West TV.

The winner of the 81st Hardy Cup goes on to host the U SPORTS Mitchell Bowl (national semifinal) on Saturday, Nov. 18.



QB – Adam Sinagra

Calgary Dinos


Pointe Claire, Que.


After a flat offensive performance Week 8 of the regular season, quarterback Adam Sinagra and the Calgary Dinos more than made up for it Saturday against the Alberta Golden Bears in the Hardy Cup semis. The third-year pivot guided his team to a 39-22 win over the Bears at a chilly McMahon Stadium. 

Sinagra tossed a season-high 457 yards in the victory, going 33-for-40 with a pair of touchdowns, including an 88-yard bomb in the third quarter to Abdraman Abdel-Rahim, which put the Dinos up 23-16 and proved to be the game's winning score.

Calgary's focus now shifts to their 10th consecutive trip to the Hardy Cup, where they'll be looking to win the program's 17th conference title.



LB – Ben Hladik

UBC Thunderbirds


Vernon, B.C.


On defence, UBC rookie linebacker Ben Hladik is the player of the week after leading the Thunderbirds in tackles against the Regina Rams.

The Vernon, B.C. product posted 9.5 tackles in UBC's 28-21 semifinal win over Regina, with 1.5 of those tackles coming in the backfield, as the Thunderbirds defence bent in the second half, but preserved the victory to send the program to yet another conference championship game.



K – Niko DiFonte

Calgary Dinos


Winnipeg, Man.


Rounding out the semifinal weekend winners is Dinos kicker Niko Difonte, who accounted for 21 of Calgary's 39 points.

The second-year Arts student was six-for-seven on field goals, including a long of 45, and also went three-for-three on extra points. It was another strong performance from DiFonte, who led the conference in regular season scoring with 92 points.