Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ Leonard, White named CFL top performers

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Published October 18, 2022 at 11:41 am

Richard Leonard got the Hamilton Tiger-Cats rolling last week and Tim White provided the exclamation point, so it might be fitting that they had a 1-2 finish for a league honour.

The Canadian Football League announced today that Leonard and White have have been named the top performers for week 19, with Montréal Alouettes defensive back Adarius Pickett copping third-star honours. It is the second week in a row that two Hamilton mainstays have been recognized, but the first time that they were the top two.

Hamilton (6-10) beat the Calgary Stampeders 35-32 last Friday to move into the final East Division playoff position with two games left in the regular season. Leonard, 31, housed a 64-yard interception-return touchdown to put Hamilton ahead late in the first half at McMahon Stadium, where the organization had lost 15 games in a row since last winning there in 2004.

The Miami, Fla., native, who plays defensive halfback, tallied a career high-tying nine total tackles and also had two interceptions. It was Leonard’s second game in a row with a pick. The two-time CFL all-star is tied for fourth in the league with four interceptions on the season.

White was the man of the moment on the other side of the ball, with a game-most 106 receiving yards after catching 6-of-7 targets from quarterback Dane Evans. In the final 30 seconds of the game, White made aa 42-yard reception and a seven-yard touchdown reception to put Hamilton ahead.

The Santa Clarita, Calif., native is fifth in the CFL in receiving (1,152 yards with eight touchdowns, which is also fifth). He is first with 85 receptions and tied for first with 135 targets.

Hamilton can eliminate the Ottawa Redblacks (4-12) from playoff contention with a victory or tie at Tim Hortons Field on Friday (Oct. 21, 7 p.m., TSN/RDS/AM900CHML/Ticats Audio Network). The teams play a return game in the nation’s capital on Oct. 29.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders (6-10) can become a cross-over team if they have an outright better won-loss record than the East’s third-place finisher. Saskatchewan also wraps the schedule with a home-and-home, but it is against Calgary (10-6), which is still trying to clinch home field for the West Division semifinal.

Leonard was the second Tiger-Cat to be named the league’s first star this season. Evans earned the No. 1 nod in Week 15.

The club also had multiple selectiosn last week, when running back Wes Hills and defensive end Malik Carney were named the the Nos. 2 and 3 performers.

The three players were chosen by a panel of judges made up of Matt Dunigan and Marshall Ferguson of TSN, and Pierre Vercheval of Réseau des sports, who independently send their selections to the CFL league office.

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