Ottawa Citizen

Someone else on Als finally gets a chance

Cahoon ends Calvillo’s long run as club’s outstandin­g player nominee


MONTREAL • The Canadian Football League long has been a quarterbac­k- driven league — except this season. And so, somewhat predictabl­y, only one quarterbac­k, Edmonton’s Ricky Ray, is among team nominees announced yesterday for the league’s outstandin­g player awards.

The Alouettes’ nominee for top player is veteran slotback Ben Cahoon, who has caught 94 passes for 1,111 yards in 16 games, while scoring four touchdowns. He also is Montreal’s nominee as outstandin­g Canadian.

Conspicuou­s by his absence is quarterbac­k Anthony Calvillo. This marks the first time in six years Calvillo hasn’t been Montreal’s nominee for top player, and he greeted the news somewhat defiantly.

“ It wasn’t even a goal of mine going into the season,” he said. “ I don’t care what the fans and media thinks of me. I won’t lose sleep over it. It has been an upand- down season, not just for myself, but the whole team. We haven’t been consistent.”

The Als’ other nominees include guard Scott Flory ( lineman), rush end Anwar Stewart ( defence), reserve linebacker Etienne Boulay ( rookie) and return specialist Avon Cobourne ( special teams). The voting was conducted by 40 members from the Football Reporters of Canada.

This will mark the first time in five seasons Calvillo will be held under 5,000 yards passing. Heading into Saturday’s regular- season finale at Toronto, the 34- year- old veteran has passed for 4,488 yards and 19 touchdowns. That’s his lowest touchdown total since 2001, when he was held to 16, but also missed three games with a shoulder injury. Calvillo has been intercepte­d 15 times.

“ Defences have become more challengin­g and the numbers are down,” said Calvillo, the CFL’s outstandin­g player in 2003, when he passed for 5,891 yards and 37 touchdowns.

This marks the first time in Cahoon’s nine- year career he has been the Als’ outstandin­g player nominee. But it’s the fifth consecutiv­e season Cahoon, a 1,000- yard receiver every year since 2002, has been the team’s outstandin­g Canadian.

Four former Ottawa Renegades were among the nominees announced yesterday. Hamilton’s George Hudson and Winnipeg’s Ibrahim Khan, both centres, are up for top offensive lineman, Edmonton fullback Mike Maurer is nominated in the special teams category, and Saskatchew­an’s Fred Perry, a defensive end, is in the running for outstandin­g defensive player.

Division finalists will be revealed Tuesday. COMPLETE LIST: SEE ALL THE AWARD NOMINEES ON PAGE D4

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