Canadian Football League

Friday, November 17, 2006

Canadian Football League Award Winners

Geroy Simon is guaranteed of leaving Winnipeg with at least two football trophies.
CBC News

As expected, the B.C. Lions slotback was named the Canadian Football League's outstanding player on Thursday night and also captured the Fans Choice award.
But the league's leading receiver in 2006 - 105 receptions for a club-record 1,856 yards - would gladly trade in the awards for a victory in the 94th Grey Cup game against Montreal on Sunday (CBC, 3 p.m. ET).
"It's just a good feeling, I'm on cloud nine right now," Simon said. "All those individual awards are great ... we just have to finish it off now."
Simon, who earned his third Western Division all-star selection, is the first non-quarterback to win the MVP award since 2002. He is also just the third player other than a signal-caller to win since 1991.
"When I first came to the CFL [in 1999] my goal was to just get 1,000 yards receiving," Simon said. "Now, to be named the outstanding player in the league is amazing.
"I've been saying it all year, this has been a dream season."
The Lions, who topped the Western Division with a 13-5 record, dominated the awards night with four other winners.
Defensive end Brent Johnson was named the league's outstanding defensive player and Canadian, while offensive tackle Rob Murphy (top lineman), defensive tackle Aaron Hunt (top rookie) and defensive back Mark Washington (Tom Pate Memorial award) were also honoured.
Sandro DeAngelis of the Calgary Stampeders beat out fellow kicker Noel Prefontaine of the Toronto Argonauts for special teams bragging rights.
Simon was up against Winnipeg's Charles Roberts, who amassed 1,609 yards on the ground to win his third CFL rushing title in the past four years.
Johnson, 29, won his second straight outstanding Canadian award, besting Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive tackle Doug Brown by a 43-4 margin.
"I'm here to pick this award up for all of us on defence," Johnson said. "We all deserve it and we really do believe that we are the best defence to be in this league for a long time and I'm just representing them."
The bruising defensive end also led the league in quarterback sacks (16) for a second consecutive season.
The B.C. defence finished first in fewest yards allowed (299 per game) and sacks (59) and second to Toronto in points allowed (18.9 compared to 18.5 for the Argos) while forcing a league-high 61 turnovers.
Johnson got the defensive nod over Blue Bombers linebacker and former Lions teammate Barrin Simpson.
One of the most coveted free agents last winter, the six-foot, 243-pound Simpson posted 110 tackles - 27 more than runner-up Reggie Hunt of Saskatchewan - three sacks, eight special teams tackles and two pass knockdowns.
The six-foot-five Murphy was recognized for a solid rookie CFL season in which he helped B.C.'s offence finish first in passing (292 yards per game), touchdowns (49) and passing TDs (36).
"I knew [playing in CFL] would be a challenge and it took me a few games to get used to this brand of football," Murphy said. "Playing at Ohio State was great but coming up here to the pro ranks and winning here, I can't fathom it."
Montreal offensive guard Scott Flory, a three-time CFL all-star, was a finalist for the third time.
Hunt (nine sacks, 14 tackles) took rookie honours over linebacker Etienne Boulay of the Alouettes. The latter had two interceptions, 12 defensive tackles, a fumble recovery and 20 special teams tackles.
DeAngelis was the league's scoring leader in 2006 with 214 points, highlighted by a Stampeders record 56 field goals.
"What a magical night and magical season," an emotional DeAngelis said after receiving his award from former Calgary kicker Mark McLoughlin. "I'm living a dream and to see it happen before your eyes is something special.
"I'll never forget this night."
Prefontaine, a veteran of nine CFL seasons, was the East Division nominee.
Voting was conducted by the 47 members of the Football Reporters of Canada.
With files from the Canadian Press


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