Football drops 2017 season opener to Regina Rams

In their first game of the regular season, UBC football faced a 36-20 defeat against the University of Regina Rams on the road.

The first frame was a scoreless affair, as tight defence by the ’Birds and the Rams kept each other from advancing in the opposing zone.

A little over four minutes into the first frame, Regina was the first to get onto the scoreboard. Rams quarterback Noah Picton threw a 28-yard pass to Kyle Moortgat for the touchdown. The Rams then scored a touchback on the ensuing kickoff, taking a 9-0 lead.

On the next drive attempt, the ’Birds quickly ran into trouble as Regina’s Cole Benkic caught an interception on Michael O’Connor’s pass from the 36-yard line. The Rams easily recorded another touchdown, increasing their lead to 16-0. UBC’s only points of the half came from a field goal toward the end of the intermission.

Both teams opened the third quarter with a field goal to make the score 19-6. Looking to make up some ground, the ’Birds fought hard for an opening, but ended up falling further behind.

With six minutes remaining, Picton fired a 21-yard pass to Mitch Thomas to bring the Rams up 26-6. As the period winded down to the final minute, the Rams again found themselves in the ’Birds’ end zone.

With a 33-6 trail, UBC finally found its breakthrough in the start of the fourth, when Shane Noel got the first touchdown for the ’Birds. A Rams field goal and a ’Birds touchback then made the score 36-14 in favour of Regina.

UBC's Michael O'Connor looks for the open throw to receiver Trivel Pinto.
UBC's Michael O'Connor looks for the open throw to receiver Trivel Pinto. Courtesy Glen McMurchy/UBC Athletics

In the final minute of the match, T-Bird receiver Marcus Davis caught a 23-yard pass from Cole Meyer for UBC’s second touchdown. Still, the ’Birds weren’t able to make up for the deficit and ultimately lost 36-20.

UBC starting quarterback O’Connor — who averaged 324.8 passing yards per game last year — racked up an uncharacteristic 155 yards during the game. The ’Birds also had 23 penalties for a total loss of 210 yards.

The ’Birds will return to UBC on September 9 to face the Manitoba Bisons in their first game on home turf.