Rookie running back Atlee Simon was named the Canada West Offensive Player of the Week on Monday after putting forth one of the finest performances in the University of Regina’s history on Saturday, helping the Rams to a critical 56-41 win over No. 9-ranked Manitoba.
Simon finished with 24 carries for 154 yards and three touchdowns, including a career-long 45-yard run early in the second quarter that gave the Rams their first major of the game. He also had four catches for 89 yards, most of which came on a 60-yard catch-and-run late in the ball game for his fourth touchdown of the contest.
“Atlee did a great job of running the football and catching it coming out of the backfield,” Rams offensive coordinator Bernie Schmidt said. “He’s shown the last two games that he’s going to be the complete player we thought he was when we recruited him, and I think he’s only going to continue building on that performance moving forward.”
His 243 all-purpose yards are the most by a U of R player in over four years, while his three touchdown runs equal a school single-game record that Cory Olynick set back in 2002. His four touchdowns scored also equal a U of R single-game mark, a record he now shares with Jason Clermont (twice) and Chad Goldie.
Simon is now sixth in Canada West with a total of 419 rushing yards on the season – 275 of which have come in his last two games, his first as the U of R’s starting running back. The Rams (2-5) will have a chance to nail down a playoff spot this Saturday afternoon at home against Alberta (3-4).
Saskatchewan safety Mark Ingram (defence) and kick returner Keegan Arnyek (special teams) were also honoured by the conference on Monday. All three will move forward as Canada West’s nominees for the CIS Players of the Week, which will be announced Wednesday.