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Laval receiver Kevin Mital wins Hec Crighton Award as U Sports’ top football player

Laval Rouge et Or receiver Kevin Mital was named the winner of the Hec Crighton Trophy as the most outstanding player in U Sports football at the annual Vanier Cup all-Canadian awards banquet on Thursday.

Mital led the country in receptions (58) and receiving yards (751) in eight regular-season contests. His 12 touchdown receptions were a school record and tied the conference record held by Rob Harrod of Ottawa (1998) and Alexander Fox of Bishop’s (2013).

The St-Hubert, Que., native became the first receiver to win the award since Western’s Andy Fantuz in 2005 and the first winner from Laval since Benoit Groulx in 2008.

Montreal Carabins linebacker Nicky Farinaccio claimed the Presidents’ Trophy as the standup defensive player of the year, having led the country with 10.5 sacks, just 2.5 short of the national single-season record.

St. Francis Xavier X-Men head coach Gary Waterman grabbed his first Frank Tindall Trophy as coach of the year after leading his squad to an 8-0 regular-season record and second straight Loney Bowl title in the AUS.

WATCH | Laval dominates 2nd half to defeat Western in Mitchell Bowl:

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Laval’s defence dominates 2nd half to silence Western

After falling behind in the first half Laval held Western to just three points in the second and secured their spot in the Vanier Cup.

UBC Thunderbirds offensive lineman Theo Benedet won the J.P. Metras Trophy as the top lineman, McGill Redbirds quarterback Eloa Latendresse-Regimbald took home the Peter Gorman Trophy as rookie of the year and Saint Mary’s Huskies quarterback Duncan Patterson won the Russ Jackson Award, for best exemplifying athletic skill, academic achievement and community service.

Windsor’s Mike Circelli was named the Gino Fracas Award winner for outstanding career service by a volunteer assistant coach.

The Vanier Cup matchup between Laval and the Saskatchewan Huskies, Canada’s university football championship — will take place at Western Alumni Stadium next Saturday at 1 p.m. ET. Watch live coverage on CBC-TV, CBCSports.ca, CBC Gem and the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android.

WATCH | How the ‘Miracle’ U of T Blues became Vanier Cup champions:

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The Unknown History of how the “Miracle” U of T Blues became Vanier Cup champions

The 1993 University of Toronto Varsity Blues football program was left for dead, 11 months later they were Vanier Cup champions.

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