FB players of the week: DiFonte honoured for ‘The Kick’

FB players of the week: DiFonte honoured for ‘The Kick’

Evan Daum, Canada West Communications


  • Calgary sweeps final Canada West football player of the week awards: WR Hunter Karl (offence), LB Boston Rowe (defence), and kicker Niko DiFonte (special teams)
  • DiFonte's U SPORTS record 59-yard field goal as time expired handed Calgary a 44-43 win over UBC in the 81st Hardy Cup
  • The Dinos now host the U SPORTS Mitchell Bowl on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. MST in a rematch of last year's Vanier Cup against the Laval Rouge et Or.

EDMONTON – 'The Kick' has landed Calgary Dino Niko DiFonte the spotlight once again.

After the UBC Thunderbirds and Dinos teamed up for one of the greatest games in Canada West football history, DiFonte has been named the conference's special teams player of the week after his last-second U SPORTS record 59-yard field goal handed Calgary a 44-43 win in the 81st Hardy Cup on Saturday. 


DiFonte's boot, which went viral and even attracted attention south of the border on ESPN, was one for the ages and handed Calgary the program's 17th Hardy Cup. DiFonte's heroics also pushed the Dinos into a Vanier Cup rematch with the Laval Rouge et Or, as the pair will square off in the Mitchell Bowl this Saturday at McMahon Stadium (2 p.m. MST). 

Also being honoured for their performances this week were Calgary wide receiver Hunter Karl, who hauled in two touchdowns, as well as Dino Boston Rowe, who led his team defensively with eight tackles.

You can watch this weekend's Mitchell Bowl by tuning into Sportsnet 360, or Sportsnet NOW.


WR – Hunter Karl

Calgary Dinos


Okotoks, Alta.


On offence, receiver Hunter Karl had a big day for the Calgary Dinos in their incredible 44-43 win over UBC in the Hardy Cup.

The third-year receiver racked up 187 yards through the air and a pair of touchdowns from quarterback Adam Sinagra in Calgary's second consecutive Hardy Cup victory.

Karl's second TD of the day came with just 5:57 remaining in the fourth and put the Dinos up 38-35. The score was far from the final drama in what proved to be a crazy finish at McMahon Stadium. 

The Okotoks, Alta. product was involved in the last-second heroics, as Karl was the man holding the ball on Niko DiFonte's U SPORTS record 59-yard kick to win the game.



LB – Boston Rowe

Calgary Dinos


Calgary, Alta.


Defensively, veteran linebacker Boston Rowe posted a strong performance for Calgary, with eight total tackles and a forced fumble. 

Rowe recorded four of his six solo tackles on UBC's final drive of the game, which despite resulting in a touchdown with just 16 seconds remaining, only set the stage for the greatest conclusion in Hardy Cup history.



K – Niko DiFonte

Calgary Dinos


Winnipeg, Man.


Both Karl and Rowe's performances were big for the Dinos, but Saturday's spotlight belongs solely to kicker Niko DiFonte, who is the special teams player of the week.

What a day it was for the second-year kicker, who went 6-for-8 on field goals, and 3-for-3 on extra points.

While the first five field goals played a role in Calgary's win, it was DiFonte's final kick that made all the difference in the world.

DiFonte's U SPORTS record 59-yard boot as time expired not only gave Calgary the Hardy Cup, it also handed the Dinos a piece of viral video gold, making its way to every Canadian network, and even ESPN's SportsCenter. 

Simply put, it was 59 yards of Hardy Cup magic that won't soon be forgotten.