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Quinlan captures Hec Crighton Trophy as nation’s top player

McMaster University quarterback Kyle Quinlan poses with the Hec Crighton trophy during the CFL awards in Toronto Thursday, November 22, 2012.

Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Kyle Quinlan was honoured for leading the McMaster Marauders to the Vanier Cup for the second straight year, winning the Hec Crighton Trophy Thursday night as the country's top football player.

The native of South Woodslee, Ont., became the fifth member of the Marauders program to claim the honour since the inception of the award in 1967.

He joins running back Jesse Lumsden (2004), quarterback Ben Chapdelaine (2001), running back Kojo Aidoo (2000) and pivot Phil Scarfone (1984).

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Other Canadian Interuniversity Sport award winners announced during the Gibson's Finest CFL Player Awards at Koerner Hall were Laval linebacker Frédéric Plesius, who captured the Presidents' Trophy as defensive player of the year; McMaster defensive end Ben D'Aguilar, who merited the J.P. Metras Trophy as most outstanding down lineman; and McGill wide receiver Shaquille Johnson, who received the Peter Gorman Trophy as the nation's top rookie.

The CIS recipients were honoured alongside the CFL's best for the second straight year as part of the 48th Vanier Cup and 100th Grey Cup festivities.

A year after a memorable national championship run that saw him claim most-valuable-player honours at the Yates Cup, Uteck Bowl and Vanier Cup, Quinlan had a fifth and final campaign for the ages with the Marauders.

In eight regular-season games, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior led the country with 19 touchdown passes against only two interceptions, a CIS-low among starting pivots.

He ranked second in the nation in passing yards per game (307.1), third in passing yards (2,407) and second in completion percentage, with a new single-season Ontario University Athletics record of 68.9.

The ultimate dual threat, the economics student also led all CIS quarterbacks with seven rushing majors and tied for the CIS lead among signal callers with 550 yards on the ground. In the process, he set team records for most completions (162), passing yards and TD passes in a single campaign.

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