’Birds end season with a 46-43 loss to Dinos in Hardy Cup final

After the 40-34 win against the top-ranked Regina Rams in the Hardy Cup semifinals, the UBC football team’s season came to an end with a 46-43 defeat to the University of Calgary Dinos in the Hardy Cup championship game.

The game was a rematch of last year’s Hardy Cup finals, where UBC came out on top 34-26 against Calgary on the exact same field — the McMahon Stadium.

Despite the loss, UBC’s offensive line delivered yet another strong performance to cap-off the season. Quarterback Michael O’Connor threw a total of 450 passing yards, 160 of which went to receiver David Mann.

Although the ’Birds were on offence to start the game, they quickly lost possession after Dinos defensive back Nick Statz forced a fumble on T-Bird receiver Marshall Cook at the UBC 24-yard line. The Dinos then took the early lead with a rushing touchdown by Jeshrun Antwi.

UBC conceded yet another scoring opportunity to Calgary in the final two minutes of the first frame, when the Dinos’ Adam Laurenesse caught an interception on O’Connor’s pass. Calgary then extended its lead to 15-0 on a 39-yard pass by Adam Sinagra to Dallas Boath.

The second frame then became a high-scoring affair, which began with a 22-yard rushing touchdown by O’Connor only a minute into the period. The Dinos then responded with a field goal before the ’Birds picked up one of their own to make the score 22-10 in favour of Calgary.

Two more touchdowns came for the Dinos in the final five minutes of the second period to increase Calgary’s lead to 36-10 by halftime.

Despite giving up 21 points in the second quarter, the ’Birds came out strong in the third, where they outscored the Dinos 16-0.

UBC’s first points in the third frame came from a team safety and it was in the final three minutes that the ’Birds scored two touchdowns. The first of the two came from Kory Nagata's 68-yard drive. On the ensuing Dinos possession, T-Bird linebacker Riley Jones caught an interception before returning the ball 53 yards for the touchdown.

The fourth quarter then opened with field goals by Calgary and UBC to put the Dinos up 39-29. Calgary’s lead then came to its narrowest midway through the period on a rushing touchdown by UBC’s Ben Cummins.

With a little over three minutes remaining on the clock, Antwi got his second touchdown of the game before Cummins answered with his touchdown a minute later. Still, Cummins’ touchdown wasn’t enough to save the T-Birds as Calgary walked out of the game 46-43 to capture the Hardy Cup.