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TORONTO -- Hes one of only two Canadians to ever win the CFLs outstanding player awar
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TORONTO -- Hes one of only two Canadians to ever win the CFLs outstanding player award, but Tony Gabriel believes Jon Cornish belongs in that select fraternity. Alec Burks Jersey . The Calgary Stampeders running back received the West Division nomination for the CFLs top individual award Thursday in voting by the Football Reporters of Canada and leagues eight head coaches. Quarterback Ricky Ray, who led the defending Grey Cup-champion Toronto Argonauts atop the East Division, was named a first-time finalist for the honour. The six-foot, 217-pound Cornish ran for a CFL-high 1,813 yards, the most in a season by a Canadian. The 29-year-old native of New Westminster, B.C., also led the league in yards from scrimmage (2,157) and TDs (14) and helped Calgary (14-4) finish atop the West Division. Gabriel, 64, of Burlington, Ont., was the last Canadian to be named the CFLs top player, doing so in 1978 as a tight end with Ottawa. Former Rough Riders quarterback Russ Jackson, 77, of Hamilton, was a three-time winner (1963, 66, 69). "Im excited and elated about Jon Cornishs achievements through the course of this past year," Gabriel said Thursday in a telephone interview. "I think he has matured quite a bit in terms of challenging himself to have a better year all-round in comparison to last year. "Hes an astute gentleman off the field and certainly is very impressive. I just wanted to extend to him my sincerest wishes and I believe hes the most outstanding player this year." Ray, 34, enjoyed a record-setting second season with Toronto. The California native had a CFL-record 77.2 per cent completion average and just two interceptions in 303 pass attempts to become the first player to have an interception percentage under 1.0 (0.7). However, Ray only appeared in 11 regular-season games this year. He missed six starts due to injury and was a healthy scratch in Torontos regular-season finale. "Its awesome, Im glad Im in the running," Ray said. "As far as stats go, its been one of the best years Ive ever had. "Obviously I dealt with injuries and didnt get in as much as I wouldve wanted to . . . this just means our team had a good year finishing first with a lot of great players around me. Its the first time in my career Ive been nominated so Im definitely very pleased." Ray also praised Cornish for his outstanding campaign. "Hes so consistent," Ray said. "Every week it seems like hes going for 100 yards and he really puts his team in position to win. "The last few years hes been having great years and hes going to be a tough guy to go up against." Cornish was also nominated as top Canadian -- an award he won last year -- and was one of four Stampeders finalists. The others include defensive end Charleston Hughes (defensive player), centre Brett Jones (rookie) and kicker Rene Paredes (special-teams player). Brendon LaBatte of the Saskatchewan Roughriders was the West Divisions top lineman. The other East Division finalists are Montreal linebacker Chip Cox (defensive player), Winnipeg linebacker Henoc Muamba (Canadian), Toronto centre Jeff Keeping (lineman) and Hamilton Tiger-Cats C.J. Gable (rookie) and Marc Beswick (special-teams player). There were no unanimous selections but a record eight Canadians received nominations. The CFLs awards banquet is Nov. 21 in Regina. The six-foot-one, 244-pound Hughes terrorized CFL quarterbacks, registering a league-high 18 sacks. The 29-year-old native of Saginaw, Mich., anchored a Calgary defence that led the league in sacks (63) and was second in fewest points allowed (22.9 points per game). Cox, 30, was a key performer in a Montreal defence that allowed a CFL-low 314.3 yards per game. The five-foot-nine, 185-pound linebacker led the league in tackles (club-record 115), and had a team-high 12 sacks and four interceptions. The six-foot, 230-pound Muamba, taken first overall in the 2011 CFL draft, was a bright spot for Winnipeg (3-15). The former St. Francis Xavier star finished second overall in tackles (106) and added 18 special-teams tackles, a sack and interception. Muamba, 24, was born in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) but grew up in Mississauga, Ont. He also was Winnipegs selection as outstanding player and top defensive player and is slated to become a free agent this off-season. Paredes was the CFLs scoring leader with 213 points and also converted 54-of-57 field goals (league-record 94.7 per cent). The Venezuela native, who grew up in Pierrefonds, Que., also made a league-record 39 straight field goals this year. The six-foot-one, 198-pound Beswick posted a league-leading 24 special-teams tackles and was an East Division all-star this year. The 30-year-old Vancouver native has led Hamilton in special-teams tackles the last four seasons. The six-foot-four, 323-pound LaBatte is a division finalist for the first time in his six-year CFL career. The 27-year-old native of Weyburn, Sask., anchored an offensive line that paved the way for Kory Sheets, the CFLs second-leading rusher with 1,598 yards, while allowing 57 sacks, third-fewest in league. "Its definitely something Im happy and grateful for," LaBatte said. "When someone appreciates enough what you do on the field to vote for you and put you up for those kind of award, thats something Im very grateful for and I respect that a lot." Its also the first career nomination for Keeping, 31, a six-foot-five, 291-pound native of Uxbridge, Ont. Torontos offensive line contributed to Rays record-breaking campaign and helped the Argos lead the CFL in passing (300.3 yards per game). "Its very exciting and Im very honoured," said Keeping. "Any award for an O-lineman is obviously a reflection on the guys I play with . . . Im so lucky to have a group of guys that work hard, are diligent about studying and Ricky and the receivers and being successful as an offence is obviously the reason." The six-foot-two, 319-pound Jones, a 13 second-round pick, was the only Calgary offensive lineman to dress for every game. The 22-year-old native of Weyburn was a member of a Stampeders offence that led the CFL in net offensive yards (383.4 per game), TDs (51), scoring (30.5 points per game) and rushing (141.5 yards per game). Former USC star Gable led the East Division in rushing (782 yards) and averaged a solid six yards per carry while running for seven TDs. Gable also had 55 catches for 600 yards and five touchdowns and was fourth in yards from scrimmage (1,382) and eighth in all-purpose yards (1,630). Derrick Favors Jersey . Noah finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in 34 minutes. He was headed for his fourth triple-double of the season, but sat down with about three minutes left because of the lopsided score. Kirk Hinrich scored 19 points for Chicago, going 5 for 6 on 3-pointers, Carlos Boozer added 18 points, D. Custom Utah Jazz Jerseys . Pearce had a career-high four hits and drove in two runs, and Wei-Yin Chen shut down Texas again as the Orioles completed a four-game sweep of the Rangers with a 5-2 victory on Thursday night. http://www.officialjazzproauthentic.com/...zz-Jersey/ . Jamies number grades given are out of five, with five being the best mark. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers (4) – He had a strong game Sunday; was very good in tight with big saves on Crosby, Malkin and Neal in-crease. HOUSTON -- The Astros solid pitching needed a little help against the Los Angeles Angels. Houstons offence was able to provide that support. Jose Altuve and George Springer drove in two runs each during Houstons four-run eighth inning as the Astros pulled away for an 8-5 win Thursday night. Altuve had two hits, including a two-run double in the eighth, and Springer finished with three RBIs for the Astros, who drew eight walks. Dexter Fowler also had two hits and went 6 for 11 in the three-game series. "Its not a secret that we have been playing better baseball lately," Altuve said. "The hitters are doing their job, the pitchers have been doing tremendous, we have been playing really good defence. It seems like we are putting everything together, going out there and playing hard and we are winning the games." Altuve and Springer both came through with two outs in the eighth. "It was the game," Springer said of the pair of two-run hits. "To able to score four in the bottom of the eighth was deflating. Two-out RBIs at any stage of the game are clutch. Teams that can drive guys in with two outs are great teams." Brad Peacock (2-4) allowed three runs and six hits with a strikeout in five innings. Over his last three starts, Peacock has given up four runs in 17 2-3 innings. "I was battling all night," Peacock said. "I didnt really have anything. The bullpen picked me up tonight. The hitters picked me up, too. I was just battling all night. I couldnt find my fastball the first couple innings. I kind of settled down in the third, but I have to do a better job of commanding my fastball and my off-speed." Chad Qualls quieted an Angels rally in the ninth for his sixth save. The Houston bullpen threw four innings, allowing just the two runs in the ninth. "The bullpen did a tremendous job," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "I felt like Peacock, he really struggled through five and once we got him out there in the fifth inning with the pitch count close to 90 we felt like turning it over to our bullpen at the time, we had the matchups that we wanted." Mike Trout had two hits, including a double and a triple, and Chris Iannetta had three hits for the Angels, who have lost five of their last six games. Trout was the designated hitter after missing three of the last four games with back problems. He started in the opening game of this series, but left in the second inning because of his back. Trout said he felt good and expected too return to the field Friday. Pete Maravich Jersey. "It never tightened up, nothing," Trout said. "I didnt feel really anything. I stretched it really well between at-bats but I think running around in centre field will keep it loose, too." After Houstons four-run eighth put it ahead 8-3, Erick Aybar drew a bases loaded walk and Collin Cowgill grounded into a fielders choice to pull the Angels within three. Qualls then struck out Trout and got Albert Pujols to pop up to first to end the game. Four of the eight walks issued by the Angels came in the eighth by Cam Bedrosian, who was called up from Double-A earlier this week, setting up Altuve and Springers hits. "Weve got some power arms down there and theres going to be some walks occasionally," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Sometimes that goes with the territory. I think weve gotten better. We just -- some things got away from us tonight. "We walked what eight runners tonight? Thats a lot of runners to put on base." Tyler Skaggs (4-4) allowed four runs and six hits with four strikeouts in five innings while losing his third straight start. "Of course its frustrating," Skaggs said. "They had some good at-bats tonight. They put the ball in play and things happen when you put the ball in play. You never know. The infield singles in the first inning were definitely frustrating." Los Angeles trailed by three before Aybars RBI single and Trouts run-scoring double made it 4-3 in the fifth. Houston took the lead with a three-run fourth. Robbie Grossman drove in a run on a squeeze bunt. Carlos Corporan and Fowler followed with RBI singles to make it 4-1. The Angels went ahead 1-0 in the top of the first on Pujols sacrifice fly. Springer had a sacrifice fly of his own to tie it in the bottom of the inning. NOTES: The Angels worked out Trout in the afternoon before putting him back in the lineup. Scioscia said Trout felt good swinging in the cage and that he expects him to play in the field Friday. ... Houston SS Jonathan Villar was out of the starting lineup for a second straight game on Thursday after being hit on the right elbow by a pitch on Tuesday night. However, he pinch-ran in the eighth. Manager Bo Porter said he was feeling better on Thursday and is day to day. ... Los Angeles OF Raul Ibanez broke an 0-for-16 slump with a single in the sixth inning. ... Houston selected 17-year old left-handed pitcher Brady Aiken with the first overall pick in Thursdays MLB draft. 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