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Stegall, Allen lead 2012 Canadian Football Hall of Fame class

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The Canadian Press
10/17/2011 1:04:35 AM
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TORONTO -- Damon Allen is heading into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

Allen, who saw Anthony Calvillo break three of his all-time CFL passing records this year, headlined the 2012 induction class announced Sunday on TSN at halftime of the game between the Montreal Alouettes and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Also named for enshrinement are former players Milt Stegall, Tyrone Jones (posthumously) and Jack Abendschan.

Former CFL tailback Eric Lapointe will be inducted as a Canadian university player while former Calgary Dinos head coach Peter Connellan and B.C. Lions and Toronto Argonauts owner David Braley were named as builders.

Allen, 48, spent 23 seasons in the CFL and retired following the 2007 season as the league leader in passing yards (72,381), touchdowns (394) and completions (5,158). However, Calvillo broke all three marks this season and surpassed Allen as pro football's all-time passing leader in last week's win over Toronto.

Allen remains in the CFL record book, most notably as the top rushing quarterback in league history with 11,920 yards. That total leaves him third in all-time rushing behind Mike Pringle (16,425 yards) and George Reed (16,116).

Stegall, 41, spent his entire 14-year CFL career with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The nine-time all-star was its outstanding player in 2002. When he retired in following the 2008 season he did so as the career leader in receiving yards (15,153) and touchdowns (147), although B.C. Lions slotback Geroy Simon is on pace to surpass Stegall's yardage mark.

Jones was a flamboyant linebacker during his 10-year CFL career, spent mostly with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1983-'87, 1989-'91). The colourful Jones was never afraid to speak his mind but backed up his words with stellar play on the field, earning CFL all-star honours four times and being named a division all-star on five occasions.

He remains the Bombers all-time sacks leader (98), was named the league's top defensive player in 1985 and won two Grey Cups. Jones was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer in August 2005 and died June 10, 2008, at the age of 46.

Abendschan spent his entire 11-year CFL career with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, playing offensive guard while also serving as the team's kicker. In fact, at the time of his retirement following the '75 season the five-time All-Canadian was the last of the old-time kickers who also played a regular postion.

Lapointe, 37, enjoyed a stellar collegiate career at Mount Allison, named Canadian university football's top rookie in 1995 before twice capturing the Hec Crighton Trophy its outstanding player. The native of Brossard, Que., spent time in the CFL with Hamilton, Toronto and Montreal from 1999 to 2006 after rushing for 4,666 yards with the Mounties.

Connellan built the Dinos program into a Canadian university powerhourse during his 13-year tenure as the school's head coach. He never coached a losing team and guided Calgary to eight Canada West Championships and four Vanier Cup Championships. He posted a stellar 70-32 regular-season record but was 16-6 in the playoffs and twice claimed the Frank Tindall Trophy as CIS coach of the year (1977, '85).

The 70-year-old Braley has the distinction of currently owning two CFL franchises -- the B.C. Lions and Toronto Argonauts. He entered the CFL as an owner of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 1987 until 1990, then returned to Canadian football in 1997 by purchasing the Lions. He added the Argos to his sports portfolio last year, becoming the first person in league history to own separate teams at the same time.

Braley owns Orlick Industries Ltd., a Hamilton-based auto parts manufacturer and was appointed to the Senate on May 20, 2010.

Milt Stegall and Damon Allen (Photo: Getty Images)

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(Photo: Getty Images)
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