First star: Chad Kackert, running back, Toronto Argonauts: Kackert was oft-overlooked heading into this game, but turned in a performance for the ages Sunday, collecting 133 yards on 20 rushing attempts (6.7 yards per carry) and adding another 62 receiving yards on eight catches. That showing gave him the game's Most Outstanding Player award, which was well deserved, and it was just the latest step in his rise from obscurity to CFL stardom.
(Honourable mentions for offensive star: Ricky Ray, quarterback, Toronto; Jason Barnes, slotback, Toronto; Nik Lewis, slotback, Calgary.)
Second star: Ricky Foley, defensive end, Toronto Argonauts: Foley grew up near Toronto and played his college football at York University, so Sunday was the perfect vindication of his 2010 decision to turn down B.C. in order to join the Argonauts. The defensive line was crucial to Toronto's containment of the Calgary offence Sunday, holding running back Jon Cornish to just 55 yards on 13 carries and putting enough pressure on Kevin Glenn to limit him to 222 passing yards, and Foley was the biggest star there, recording four tackles and a sack.
(Honourable mentions for defensive star: Robert McCune, linebacker, Toronto; Marcus Ball, linebacker, Toronto; Ronald Flemons, defensive end, Toronto.)
Third star: Noel Prefontaine, punter, Toronto Argonauts: This season got off to a good start for Prefontaine, as he went from goat to hero in Week 2 (while he was serving as the Argos' punter and kicker), but many thought he might retire in July following a career-threatening hip injury that required surgery. Prefontaine battled back, though, and while the Argos elected to go with Swayze Waters for field goals down the stretch, the 38-year old was able to regain his punting job. He did that very well Sunday night, and it was a perfect evening for the long-time Argo, who's had four separate stints with the team since 1998 (interspersed with NFL and XFL stints, plus parts of three seasons in Edmonton). On the night, Prefontaine booted seven punts an average of 44.6 yards, with a long of 53; he helped limit the Calgary return game and frequently gave the Stampeders unfavourable field position.
(Honourable mentions for special teams star: Larry Taylor, returner, Calgary; Rob Maver, punter, Calgary; Rene Paredes, kicker, Calgary.)
Bonus star/Top Canadian: Ricky Foley, defensive end, Toronto Argonauts: Foley was named the Grey Cup's top Canadian by Football Reporters of Canada voters Sunday, and deservingly so. He dominated on the defensive line, as you can read about above, and was crucial to the Argonauts' victory. Here's video of his comments to Yahoo!'s Sandy Annunziata after the game:
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