QUEBEC CITY – Manitoba Bisons running back Jamel Lyles scored the game-winning 18-yard touchdown with 2:12 remaining on the clock, to lead Team West to a 15-14 victory in the 2018 U SPORTS Valero East-West Bowl on Saturday at Laval’s TELUS-UL Stadium.
It was the third straight victory for the West team and improved their record to 10-6 in the annual Canadian Football League (CFL) top prospects game since the event began in 2003.
The West, who trailed 12-0 after the first quarter, received a number of standout contributions from members of the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks. Reigning OUA MVP Kurleigh Gittens Jr. of Ottawa, finished the game with three receptions for 38 yards, including a key 21-yard catch early in the second quarter which set up the West’s first points, a 24-yard field goal from Saint Mary’s kicker Brian Hope.
On the defensive side of the ball, Laurier defensive linemen Robbie Smith of Brampton, and Trevaughan James of Whitby, Ont., each finished with a tackle for the West. Smith’s tackle came in the form of a sack against East quarterback Chris Merchant of the Western Mustangs late in the game, which helped seal the victory for the West.
Hawks’ offensive lineman Drew Mairleitner of Denfield, Ont., was a key member of the West unit that allowed just two sacks in the victory while allowing West running backs to rack up 159 yards on the ground.
Laurier running back Levondre Gordon of Mississauga, Ont., did not dress for the game for the East after sustaining an injury earlier in the week.
The West dominated on offence, racking up 354-103 total yards – 236-93 by air and 159-52 on the ground.
East MVP: Mathieu Betts, Laval
West MVP: Colton Hunchak, York
– with files from U SPORTS