Armando Murillo brought down Kerry Joseph Friday en route to earning this week's first star.We're bringing back our old Three Stars segment, picking an offensive, defensive and special teams star as well as the top Canadian in each weekend's action. The offensive, defensive and special teams stars are ordered solely by their performances, so which unit lands the first star may change week to week. Here's a look at who shone in Week 15.
First Star: Armando Murillo, defensive back, Hamilton: Murillo came up with a massive interception in the Tiger-Cats' game against Edmonton, and he also recorded nine tackles there, more than anyone else this week. He flew around the field and made some nice plays in coverage too. It wasn't enough to give Hamilton the win, but he earns first star here thanks to his efforts.
(Honourable mentions for defensive star: Johnny Sears, DB, Winnipeg; Juwan Simpson, LB, Calgary, Alan-Michael Cash, DT, Montreal; Tyron Brackenridge, LB, Saskatchewan.)
Second Star: Joey Elliott, quarterback, Winnipeg: He came in on a short week of practice thanks to the late decision not to play Buck Pierce, and he had to deal with tough weather conditions in practice and a hostile road environment in Montreal, but Elliott excelled nonetheless. He was effective and efficient Monday, completing 17 of 25 passes (68 per cent) for 335 yards and three touchdowns and rushing twice for 13 yards, and his performance played a large role in the Bombers' 27-22 upset of the Alouettes.
(Honourable mentions for offensive star: Darian Durant, QB, Saskatchewan; Andrew Harris, RB, B.C.; Brandon London, WR, Montreal; Kory Sheets, RB, Saskatchewan.)
Third Star: Sean Whyte, kicker/punter, Montreal: Whyte was left in a difficult position much of the day Monday thanks to his team's offensive struggles, but he still made the most of it. He converted all three of his field-goal attempts, hit his only extra-point try and averaged a stellar 45.8 yards on four punts. Whyte's turned into a very solid punter and kicker in Montreal over the last few years, and acquiring him from B.C. was an excellent move by Alouettes' GM Jim Popp.
(Honourable mentions for special teams star: Sandro DeAngelis, K/P, Saskatchewan; Tim Brown, returner, B.C.; Grant Shaw, K/P, Edmonton).
Bonus Star/Outstanding Canadian: Andrew Harris, running back, B.C.: Harris continued his usual excellence Saturday in the Lions' win over Calgary, rushing 15 times for 73 yards (4.9 yards per carry) and a touchdown while adding another 52 yards on four catches (13 yards per catch). He's become one of the league's top receiving threats out of the backfield and is an integral part of B.C.'s offence.
(Honourable mentions for top Canadian: Andy Fantuz, WR, Hamilton; Shea Emry, LB, Montreal; Sean Whyte, K/P, Montreal; Sandro DeAngelis, K/P, Saskatchewan.)
Want to nominate a player for inclusion in next week's Three Stars? During next weekend's games, send your submissions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet them to @AndrewBucholtz.