East County Sports

Van, Draheim win ring in CFL Grey Cup

Former Helix Highlander TRAVON VAN runs for a gain during the 2016 CFL Grey Cup championship in Toronto Sunday night.

2016 EAST COUNTY PRO FOOTBALL STANDOUTS

 

Special to EastCountySports.com

 

TORONTO – Former Helix High running back TRAVON VAN played a significant role in the Ottawa Redblacks’ CFL Grey Cup championship victory Sunday night.

 

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JASON (left) and TRAVON VAN following the 2016 Grey Cup.

Van carried six times for 36 yards and caught a pass for nine yards, as the fourth-year expansion team upset the Calgary Stampeders, 39-33, in overtime, in Canada’s biggest professional football game of the year.

 

It was expected that Van would see an increased role in the title game after starter Mossis Madu, Jr., was ruled out for the game with an injury earlier in the week.

 

Van did commit a fumble during the contest, but it was lost in a series of turnovers by the two squads. Ottawa was making its second-straight Grey Cup appearance.

 

Van was the Redblacks second leading rusher on the season, despite playing in just nine games, he entered Sunday’s finale with 422 yards on 81 carries with two touchdowns.

 

The former University of Montana standout had to overcome knee and pinched nerve injuries this season to battle his way back into the lineup.

 

The 5-foot-11, 205-pound back started his college career at Marshall University and was named to the Mid-American Conference all-freshman team in 2011, but wound up transferring to the Big Sky’s Griz in 2013. He is in his second year with Ottawa, playing just a minor role in 2015.

 

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TRAVON VAN next to the Grey Cup earlier in the week on media day.

As a senior in Missoula, he had over 1,200 yards in total offense for the Griz as a runner and receiver out of the backfield, catching 63 passes and scoring 12 total touchdowns running and receiving.

 

Van was a first-team All-East County selection in 2008 with the Highlanders, rushing for over 1,200 yards that season. He is the younger brother of Helix record-setting back, JASON VAN.

 

Also for Ottawa, former El Capitan High star lineman TOMMY DRAHEIM, who was an All-Mountain West Conference center at San Diego State, played in the game for the champion Redblacks, starting a left tackle.

Draheim was a first-team All-East County offensive lineman in 2006 with the Vaqueros, and was also first-team All-San Diego Section CIF, as well.

Ottawa is the eighth professional stop for Draheim, after playing with six teams in the NFL from 2012-14, and also the B.C. Lions last season before joining the Redblacks in 2016.

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