Pair of Hamilton Tiger-Cats named CFL top performers of the week

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Published October 12, 2022 at 11:31 am

Hamilton Tiger-Cats rush end Malik Carney. (CFL.ca)

Wes Hills and Malik Carner bringing the Hamilton Tiger-Cats the elements that are elemental in late-season Canadian football has not gone unnoticed.

Both Tiger-Cats have been named Canadian Football League top performers of the week after posting career bests last week when a desperate Hamilton stayed extant in the playoff race. Hills, Hamilton’s running back, was named the week’s second star, and Carney was selected as the third star after his performance at rush end.

Hills, 27, tallied 25 rushes for 132 yards and added 26 receiving yards — all career highs — to keep Hamilton ahead of the down chains during the 18-14 win against the Saskatchewan Roughriders last Friday at Tim Hortons Field. Hills gained 117 of those combined yards in the final two quarters to help Hamilton (5-10) secure the victory.

The rushing output by Hills is the most by any Tiger-Cats’ running back since Mercer Timmis (133) on June 22, 2018.

On the other side of the ball, Carney, the 27-year-old defensive end, registered four defensive tackles, one tackle for loss and a career-high three sacks. The six-foot-three, 245-pound Alexandria, Va., native capped off a seven-sack effort from the Ticats defence with his fourth-quarter sack of Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo.

The most recent three-sack game by a Tiger-Cat had been by Dylan Wynn on Aug. 24, 2019.

The victory brought Hamilton within two points of Saskatchewan (6-10), which will become a cross-over playoff team if it finishes with an outright better record than the East Division third-place finisher. With three weeks left before the playoffs, the Montréal Alouettes (7-8) have the inside track to finishing second and hosting the East semifinal. The Ottawa Redblacks (4-11) are also mathematically alive.

The remaining slate for Hamilton includes a roadie against the Calgary Stampeders on Friday (Oct. 14) 9:30 p.m.). They finish up with a home-and-home against Ottawa (Oct. 21 at Hamilton, Oct. 29 at Ottawa).

Winnipeg Blue Bombers slotback Dalton Schoen was named the first star. 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 (RDS), who independently send their selections to the CFL league office.

It was the first time this season that two Hamilton players have been recognized by the CFL in the same week. Quarterback Dane Evans (third star, Week 6; first star, Week 15) has been recognized twice and slotback Tim White (third, Week 11) has also been honoured.

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