Esks' Prefontaine named player of the week

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:38 PM ET

Saskatchewan has posed anything but a rough ride for Noel Prefontaine.

In the two games he's played against the Roughriders so far this year, the Edmonton Eskimos kicker has been named CFL Special Teams Player of the Week.

The 13-year CFL veteran was a perfect three-for-three on field goal attempts last Saturday, warming up with his first from 14 yards out at the end of the third quarter before making good from 52 yards away to tie the game. A 37 yarder with 41 seconds left on the clock sealed the deal. He also had 370 yards on eight punts for an average of 46.2.

Along with singles off a 64-yard punt and a point-after on an eight-yard Arkee Whitlock catch off a shovel pass from Jared Zabransky, Prefontaine walked away with 11 of the Eskimos points in a 17-14 victory.

"It is amazing how the game turned out," Prefontaine said following the game, where the Eskimos scored 17 unanswered points after falling behind 14-0 in the opening quarter. "The defence did a hell of a job to prevent them from scoring the rest of the game and keep us in it and give us an opportunity to win it."

While the Eskimos lost their first meeting of the season, 24-20, in Regina in Week 3, Prefontaine was named Special Teams Player of the Week after going three-for-three in field goals and punting nine times for 440 yards -- despite sitting out the previous week with a groin injury and being a game-time decision.

"I miss this feeling, I really do," Prefontaine said following Saturday's win, amid celebrations in a locker-room that hasn't had a lot to celebrate since undergoing renovations in the off-season. "There's a huge difference."

The last time Prefontaine kicked a game-winning field goal was at the same time last year, coming off the bye week in a 31-30 victory over the visiting Hamilton Tigercats. Besides happening in the same week on the schedule, Prefontaine also went three-for-three in field goals in that game, on his way to being named the CFL Canadian Player of the Week.

WEEKLY HONOURS: Roughriders safety James Patrick was named the CFL Defensive Player of the Week with a career-high three interceptions to lead the league in last Saturday's loss to the Eskimos. The performance not only tied a club record, but also put points on the board for the Roughriders as Patrick picked off a Ricky Ray pass in the opening quarter and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown.

The Calgary Stampeders rounded out this week's selections in a 48-35 victory over the B.C. Lions. Receiver Ken-Yon Rambo earned offensive honours with nine receptions for 108 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while running back Jon Cornish was named top Canadian player with a career-high 104 yards from scrimmage, including six rushes for 70 yards.

PRETTY MINT: Things are getting a little loony in Regina during 100th anniversary celebrations of the Saskatchewan Roughriders this year.

Make that "loonie."

The Royal Canadian Mint has created a commemorative one-dollar coin honouring the team and its generations of loyal fans. The new loonie will enter circulation on Thursday following its public unveiling in Regina.

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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