Coming off of two wins on the road, the UBC football team secured home field advantage for the Hardy Cup semifinals as they defeated the Regina Rams 44-15 in their final regular season home game on Saturday afternoon.
“This is a pretty good effort ... and I think our pride has to start surfacing now,” said T-Birds head coach Blake Nill after the game. “We needed to win this football game flat out.”
Regina was first to get onto the scoreboard five minutes into the game on a 27-yard field goal by Daniel Scraper. On the ’Birds next possession, the Rams mounted some strong defensive pressure, forcing a team safety on UBC to gain two more points.
Although the ’Birds trailed 5-0 by the end of the first quarter, they took a massive lead by halftime after an explosive second frame.
The first touchdown came three minutes into the quarter by running back Ben Cummings, who racked up 47 rushing yards during the UBC possession before scoring. Three minutes later, receiver Alex Morrison caught a 10-yard pass from quarterback Michael O’Connor at the end zone to bump the ’Birds up 14-5.
“Mike [O’Connor] is just confident with Alex [Morrison] and we thought we needed more productivity out of that position,” said Nill of the duo.
It didn’t take long for luck to strike again for UBC. On the next kickoff, UBC’s Evan Horton recovered a fumble by Regina at the 30-yard line. O’Connor then threw a complete pass to star receiver Trivel Pinto, adding another touchdown for the ’Birds.
With two minutes remaining, Morrison picked up his second touchdown of the game on a 62-yard play. Cole Meyers then capped off the frame with a touchdown in the final seconds, giving UBC a 35-5 lead.
“I’ve put in a lot of work with Mike and the other quarterbacks over the last few years,” said Morrison of the game. “It was good to get that lift today and we really propelled that game forward.”
Midway into the third, Meyer recorded yet another touchdown for UBC. On the Rams’ next possession, they conceded a team safety, increasing the ’Birds lead to 44-5.
Having not scored any points since the first period, Regina made up some ground toward the end of the frame with a field goal, making it 44-8 going into the fourth quarter.
In the middle of the fourth, Regina got its first touchdown of the game from slotback Ryan Schienbein. Neither team scored in the remainder of the period, which secured UBC’s 44-15 win.
With the win against Regina, UBC finished the regular season with a 6-2 record and place second in Canada West. The Rams are 4-4 for third place, which means the two teams will face each other again at Thunderbird Stadium in the Hardy Cup semifinals next weekend.