(Courtesy Mr. Braden Konschuh--U of R Athletics)
The UBC Thunderbirds opened up the 2011 Canada West season with a 21-10 win over the No. 6-ranked Regina Rams on Friday night at Mosaic Stadium.
The first five minutes of the game couldn't have possibly gone any better for UBC. Quarterback Billy Greene fired a 63-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Grieve on the Thunderbirds' opening drive to give the visitors the early lead. On the ensuing Rams possession, fifth-year quarterback Marc Mueller suffered a shoulder injury at the end of an eight-yard rush and didn't return.
UBC (1-0) added to the lead three minutes into the second quarter, as Brandon Deschamps finished off a short drive that started deep in Rams territory following a Chris Mark interception. Regina (0-1) finally got on the board just before halftime with a 42-yard Chris Bodnar field goal.
Joey Gabrick extended the lead to 21-3 with an eight-yard touchdown reception in the opening stages of the third quarter. With first-year quarterback Dylan Hart controlling the Rams offence after Mueller's injury, the home side answered back with a 10-play, 70-yard drive that was finished off with an 11-yard touchdown catch by Jared Janotta.
The Janotta major cut the lead to 11, but turned out to be the final points of the contest.
Billy Greene completed 15 of his 25 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns and also led UBC with 38 rushing yards. Grieve had three catches for a game-high 109 yards, while Micha Theil led UBC with four receptions. Canada West all-star Serge Kaminsky had a fantastic game on the defensive side of the ball for the Thunderbirds, getting through the line for three sacks and adding a game-high seven total tackles.
Adrian Charles had a huge game on the ground in the loss for the Rams, ending up with 192 yards on 26 rushes. Hart completed 14 of 28 passes for 134 yards, while Janotta ended up with eight catches for 99 yards.
The Rams will travel to Saskatoon next Friday to square off against Saskatchewan (1-0) at Griffiths Stadium. UBC hits the road again next weekend for a Friday clash against Calgary.