The UBC Thunderbirds fell to 2-2 in Canada West football play (3-2 overall) on Friday night, dropping a 45-29 decision to the visiting Saskatchewan Huskies (2-2).
The T-Birds found themselves at a 21-0 deficit by the end of the first quarter, and though they fought valiantly, couldn't claw their way all the way back.
UBC head coach Blake Nill addressed the consistency concerns following the game, emphasizing the need for his veterans to become leaders when things get out of hand. as they did in the first quarter.
"The big thing is that this is a team that's growing," he said. "It shows in that we're making big plays at times, but it's a youth situation, and I keep coming back to the fact that I need my veteran players to provide some leadership here."
UBC's freshman quarterback Michael O'Connor (Orleans, Ont.) completed 30 of 48 passes for 335 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. Kicker Quinn Van Gylswyk (Victoria, B.C.) also contributed a large chunk of the T-Birds' scoring, nailing all four of his field goal attempts, as well as a rouge. Tailback Brandon Deschamps (Prince George, B.C.) had a solid all-purpose day, rushing for 53 yards on eight carries, and adding three catches for 46 yards, while receiver Marshall Cook (Nanaimo, B.C.) was all over the field catching a game-high nine balls for 92 yards.
O'Connor's Saskatchewan counterpart, senior quarterback Drew Burko, went 16-for-21 for 324 yards and two scores. Running back Jarvis James also provided balance to the Saskatchewan attack, piling up 159 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries. Several Saskatchewan receivers had big days, with Mitch Hillis hauling in five balls for 110 yards and Juan Lynch bringing down four catches for 88 yards and a touchdown.
Both teams will next take the field on Saturday, Oct. 3. UBC will be in Edmonton to face the Alberta Golden Bears, while Saskatchewan will battle Calgary.
(University of Saskatchewan)
The University of Alberta Golden Bears couldn’t hold off the rampaging Manitoba Bisons as the No.8 ranked and defending Canada West champion Bisons picked up a 42-32 come-from-behind victory under the Friday night lights at Foote Field.
The Bears (2-2) got touchdowns from third-year runningback Ed Ilnicki, freshman quarterback Ben Kopczynski and third-year receivers Tylor Henry and Aundrey Webster, while racking up 518 yards of offence.
Manitoba, now 2-2, stops a two-game losing streak and moves into a four-way tie for second place in the conference standings, along with Alberta, UBC and Saskatchewan. The Huskies beat UBC on Friday night as well, winning 45-29 in Vancouver.
The Bears will next be in action on October 3 when they host the UBC Thunderbirds, while Manitoba is home to Regina on October 2.
(University of Alberta)
Running back Michael Webber rushed for over 130 yards in his first career start, but it wasn’t nearly enough as the Rams were buried 72-8 by No. 1 Calgary on Saturday afternoon at Mosaic Stadium.
The Rams were within a touchdown after one quarter, but Calgary scored majors on four consecutive possessions in the second to pull away for good. The visiting Dinos led 41-0 at the half and 55-8 after three quarters on the way to their 64-point victory.
Calgary (4-0) had a fine outing from quarterback Andrew Buckley, who completed 21 of his 29 pass attempts for 478 yards and four touchdowns. Rashaun Simonise hauled in two of Buckley’s four touchdown passes, opening the scoring with a 37-yard major in the first and also scoring on a 42-yard catch-and-run in the second. Simonise finished with four catches for a game-high 106 yards.
William Maxwell needed only two plays to lead all players in all-purpose yardage. He had a 104-yard kickoff return for a touchdown late in the third, and closed the scoring with a 73-yard catch on a ball delivered by backup quarterback Jimmy Underdahl. Maxwell finished with 222 all-purpose yards.
Matt Carson and Doctor Cassama both notched a sack and a pass breakup for the Dinos, with Cassama also recording a team-high nine tackles (8 solo, 2 assisted). Boston Rowe also had a sack, while Robert Woodson and Michael Schmidt added pass knockdowns and Cory Robinson had a forced fumble and a fumble recovery on the same play in the fourth quarter.
Making his first career start for the Rams with Atlee Simon injured, Webber finished with 18 rushes for 135 yards and scored the team’s lone major of the game with a 21-yard rumble in the third.
Mason Rossler had an unassisted sack and combined with Michael Stefanovic on another, while Eric Wicijowski added another sack for the Rams defence. Joey Dwyer, Korey Greene, and Polis Koko all had pass breakups.
The Rams (0-4) will now prepare for a road game against Manitoba, which will enter Week 5 with a 2-2 record. The teams will kick off at Investors Group Field next Friday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. CDT.
(University of Regina)