51st Vanier Cup: UBC Thunderbirds vs. Montreal Carabins

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 Saturday, November 28, 10 am PT – Telus Stadium, Quebec City

Kickoff at 10 am PT

Watch on Sportsnet

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Photo Credit: UBC Thunderbirds

 

The UBC Thunderbirds are just one win away from capping their surprise season with a national title as they head to la belle province to compete for the coveted Vanier Cup against the defending champion, Montreal Carabins.

In last week’s Uteck Bowl, the Thunderbirds beat the St. Francis Xavier X-Men by a score of 36-9 to punch their ticket to their first Vanier Cup appearance since 1997. In the win, pivot Michael O’Connor completed 21-of-31 passes for 290 yards and threw two touchdown passes to Trivel Pinto. Pinto finished with four receptions for 73 yards, while Marcus Davis finished with five catches for 60 yards to round out the top receivers on the night. Brandon Deschamps got the Uteck Bowl MVP honours after rushing 20 times for 129 yards and a touchdown and will be a key player once again for the Thunderbirds. Defensively, the Thunderbirds recorded three interceptions with Terrell Davis, Taylor Loffler, and Stavros Katsantonis recording one each, while Terrell Davis led the team with four solo and four assisted tackles. On special teams, Quinn van Gylswyk made four of five field goal attempts in the win and will be a player that the Thunderbirds know they can count on.

The defending Vanier Cup champions, the Carabins, are coming off a 25-10 win over the Guelph Gryphons. In last week’s win, the team was led by Gabriel Cousineau, who completed 18-of-27 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown to Philip Enchill, who finished with four catches for 65 yards. On the ground, Sean Thomas-Erlington led the way with 23 carries for 179 yards and a score. On defence, Maiko Zepeda, Junior Luke and Mathieu Dupuis all contributed to the Carabins’ three sacks, while Zacary Alexis, Junior Luke, and Frédéric Chagnon all recorded an interception. Kicker David Deschamps was consistent all day, making all three of his field goal attempts to help the Carabins advance to back-to-back appearances in the Vanier Cup.

Can the Thunderbirds overcome last year’s returning Vanier Cup champions, or will midnight strike on their Cinderella run? All eyes will be at Telus Stadium on Saturday, and it’s a game you won’t want to miss! Catch it on Sportsnet at 10 am PT.

 

 

AA Semifinal: Langley Saints vs Abbotsford Panthers

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Saturday, November 28 – BC Place

Kickoff at 5:00PM

Watch online at www.SportsCanada.TV!

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Photo Credit: http://www.canadafootballchat.com

School history will be made one way or another when the Langley Saints face off against the Abbotsford Panthers with both teams looking to earn a spot in the AA Final for the first time in their respective program histories.

The Panthers knocked off the two-time defending AA champions, the John Barsby Bulldogs, by a score of 50-36 last week to make it to the semi-final. Standout Chase Claypool was a threat on both sides of the ball, but especially on offence, as he caught four receiving touchdowns from quarterback John Madigan and rushed for a pair of scores. On defence, he also recorded an interception. Another key part of the Panthers’ defence will be Richard Tshimpaka from his safety position, who ranked tenth in the AA conference with 32 tackles and four sacks in five regular season games and has recorded 12 tackles in two playoff games. Claypool, meanwhile, has also chipped in with 18 tackles in two games.

The Saints, meanwhile, are coming off a close 28-27 win over Vernon thanks to a crucial interception by Bryce Hamilton which would lead to a short touchdown run by Azuka Okoli late in the third to help the Saints hang onto the win. Okoli also scored on a 27-yard run in the first quarter, and the top-five ranked AA rusher will be a player to look out for in the match-up. Pivot Wes Van Vliet also threw a 25-yard touchdown strike to Max Joseph and as well as one to Jayden Korfman to round out the scoring. On defence, look out for Isaiah Okoli to make some key stops as the third-ranked regular season player in tackles looks to help stop the Panthers in the tracks.

In their first-ever meeting, will the Panthers claw past the Saints? Or will the gods of victory bless the Saints with a win and a berth to the Final? Tune in on Saturday to find out!

 

 

AA Semifinal: Carson Graham Eagles vs GW Graham Grizzlies

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Saturday, November 28 – BC Place

Kickoff at 12:00PM

Watch online at www.SportsCanada.TV.

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The Carson Graham Eagles look to get back to the Senior AA championship final for the second time in three years but standing in there is the GW Graham Grizzlies, who will be looking for their first trip to the senior title game in school history.

The top-ranked Grizzlies survived an overtime scare at the hands of Holy Cross in their quarterfinal contest but came out with a 33-27 win over the Crusaders to advance to the semi-finals. The Grizzlies are led by AA regular season passing leader Gabriel Olivares, who has thrown a combined 22-of-40 for 346 yards and three touchdowns in two playoff games so far. Other players to look out for include Von Richardson who has carried 57 times for 392 yards and two scores, and receivers Tyler Sprott and Emerson Smith, who recorded 11 receptions for 187 yards and a score and eight catches for 124 yards and a pair of scores, respectively, in two playoff games. On defence, look for Jordon Breuker, who has led the team in tackles during the playoffs with 14.

The Eagles are making a return to the semi-finals after being out of contention early last year in the quarterfinals. The Eagles are coming off a 34-20 win over Prince George and will look to get another championship shot after falling just short in 2013. In the win over Prince George, Flynn Heyes carried 34 times for 215 yards and rumbled for three touchdowns, while wide-receiver-turned-starting-quarterback Tyler Nylander carried ten times for 60 yards and completed 8-of-11 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown strike to Max Goodman. On defence, Ben Cameron recorded a team-high four interceptions while Christoph Stangl led the team with 14 tackles and Aaron Skye recorded eight tackles and a sack.

In a match-up of the two Graham schools, which team will crack first and which team will go on to s’more action? Find out on Saturday!

AAA Semifinal: Mt. Douglas Rams vs Terry Fox Ravens

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Saturday, November 28 – BC Place

Kickoff at 2:30PM

Watch online at www.SportsCanada.TV

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Photo Credit: Christian J. Stewart Photography

 

On one side of the AAA semifinals, the Mt. Douglas Rams go head-to-head against the undefeated Terry Fox Ravens in a clash of two traditional football powerhouses as both teams battle it out for a chance to return to the Subway Bowl Final.

The Ravens defeated 2014 Subway Bowl champions, the South Delta Sun Devils, last week by a score 33-14 to continue their undefeated run en route to the semi-finals. In the win, quarterback Jake Laberge threw two touchdowns including a 26-yard touchdown strike to running back Jeremie Kankolongo, the latter who finished with three scores in the win. Kankolongo, who also rushed for scores of 11 and five yards, will be a key player on offence alongside Taylor Poitras, who was the leading rusher this season among the AAA ranks. On defence, the Ravens were able to frustrate South Delta running back Grant McDonald and contain the Sun Devils’ run game on the way to victory and will look to do the same against the Rams.

The Rams are coming off of a 51-13 win over the Kelowna Owls and are itching to topple the number-one ranked Ravens to get back to the title game for the fifth consecutive year. Offensively, the Rams lit up the field with three 100-yard plus performances from Declann Michielin, Gavin Cobb, and Manny Lopez. Michielin finished the night with 14 carries for 129 yards and two scores, while Cobb and Lopez finished with seven carries for 113 yards and two scores and seven carries for 101 yards, respectively. Quarterback Gideone Kremler also had a productive night, completing 11-of-15 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns, including a 60-yard touchdown strike to Gevhahn McNally-Hardisty. Not only did the Rams have a good day on offence, the defence stepped up big as well. Aidan Kachanoski led the team with six tackles and a sack, while other solid perfornaces came from Michielin also recorded six tackles, and Lopez, who recorded three tackles and a fumble recovery.

In a match-up of two high-octane offence teams, not to mention a re-match of the 2013 Subway Bowl Final, will the Rams prevail and make it five straight years in the championship tilt? Or will the Ravens fly high at BC Place and get back to the championship contest for the first time since that aforementioned 2013 season? This is a game you won’t want to miss at BC Place!

AAA Semifinal: Vancouver College Fighting Irish vs New Westminster Hyacks

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Saturday, November 28 – BC Place

Kickoff at 7:30PM

Watch online at www.SportsCanada.TV

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Photo Credit: Jason Lang

The New Westminster Hyacks have a chance to make history and secure a spot in the Subway Bowl championship game for the first time but, in order to do that, they’ll need to get past the unbeaten Vancouver College Fighting Irish, a team looking to make their way back to the title game for the first time since 2012.

Last week, the Fighting Irish blanked the Notre Dame Jugglers 27-0 to earn their spot in the semi-final. In the win, the defence effectively shut down the Jugglers’ offence by recording picks left, right, and center. Bobby Singh recorded three picks, while defensive lineman Jagroop Sandhu also got into the act tipping a pass to himself and returning it 20 yards for a pick-six. Chris Ellis made seven tackles to lead the defence. On offence, running back Michael Le and receiver Rysen John both scored touchdowns to help the Fighting Irish to a three-touchdown lead in the first quarter, and Javier Sanchez Mejorada rounded out the scoring with a touchdown run in the final quarter to ensure a win against their cross-town rival.

The Hyacks, meanwhile, defeated the St. Thomas More Knights 27-13 to earn their spot in the semi-finals for the first time since 2009. In the game, running back Trew Dancey scored on back-to-back majors, including a 45-yard scoring run, while David Penalver and Gurvir Ghuman both found the end zone with a 22-yard run and 40-yard run, respectively, to round out the scoring for the Hyacks. On defence, Jeff Lugtu recorded a crucial pick which eventually led to a touchdown, and will be a player to watch this weekend. The Hyacks did make three trips to STM’s five-yard line without producing scores and they will look to make sure they don’t miss any more of those opportunities against Vancouver College.

Will the Hyacks continue their run and punch a ticket to the Subway Bowl final? Or will the Fighting Irish prove to be too much to handle? Come find out at BC Place!

 

Uteck Bowl: UBC Thunderbirds at St. Francis Xavier X-Men

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Saturday, November 21st – Oland Stadium

Kickoff at 1 pm PT

 Game broadcast live on Sportsnet 360

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Photo Credit: Rich Lam/UBC Athletics

After a thrilling 34-26 win over the number one ranked Calgary Dinos at McMahon Stadium last week in the 79th Hardy Cup, the Thunderbirds hit the road once again to take on the St. Francis Xavier X-Men in the Uteck Bowl, with the winner advancing to the Vanier Cup.

The Thunderbirds shocked many last week by toppling the Dinos on enemy turf to win the Hardy Cup for the first time since 1997. All eyes will be on this team as they look to make their way to the Vanier Cup. In the win, quarterback Michael O’Connor went 27-of-40 for 374 yards, one interception, and two touchdowns to Marcus Davis, the latter who finished the day with eight catches for 99 yards. O’Connor’s other favourite targets on the night included Will Watson and Alex Morrison, who finished with seven catches for 130 yards and three catches for 82 yards, respectively. On the ground, Brandon Deschamps led the rushing attack with 12 carries for 77 yards and will be another key player in the Thunderbirds’ offence this week. On defence, Taylor Loffler led the team with 10 solo tackles and three assists. On special teams, Quinn van Gylswyk was his usual self, making all his field goal attempts, including a 46-yard kick, and will be another player to watch in this game.

The X-Men are also coming off a dramatic victory after posting a 14-12 come-from-behind win against Mount Allison to win their first AUS Loney Bowl in two decades. In the win, freshman kicker Jonathan Heidebrecht scored a 41-yard game winning field goal, allowing them to pull off the win despite trailing by one point with 45 seconds remaining in the final quarter. Quarterback Tivon Cook went 15-of-31 for 249 yards and one touchdown to Randy Roseway, who finished with three catches for 89 yards. Other key players for the X-Men include Christian Ridley, who caught five passes for 69 yards, and Ashton Dickson, who led the rushing efforts with 27 carries for 154 yards. On defence, Adam Kuntz led the team with ten solo and two assisted tackles, while Jimmie Cunningham recorded seven solo and two assisted tackles and half a sack in the win.

After capturing their long-awaited conference championships, both teams will be hungry to punch their ticket to the Vanier Cup. Will the X-Men make it back to the title game for the first time since 1996, or will it be the Thunderbirds that end their lengthy drought between national title appearances by getting back to the big game for the first time since 1997? Find out this Saturday on Sportsnet 360.

 

AAA Quarterfinals: Kelowna vs Mt. Douglas

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Friday, November 20th – Goudy Field (Victoria)

Kickoff at 2 pm

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Photo Credit: Lorne White/KelownaNow.com

The lone Senior AAA quarterfinal not taking place at BC Place this weekend goes on Friday night in Victoria between the Kelowna Owls and the Mt. Douglas Rams in a match-up of the second place team in the Western Conference (Mt. Douglas) and the third place team in the Eastern Conference (Kelowna).

The Owls outscored Argyle by a score of 27-6 last week in the Wildcard playoff round to advance to this stage, thanks in large part to star quarterback Parker Simson. Simson threw a touchdown, rushed for another, and also caught touchdown passes from Adam DiBiase to lead the team to the quarterfinal. The defence also stepped up big for the Owls led by Matt Blanchard, who recorded two sacks in the win.

The Rams are coming off a bye week, with their last game two weeks ago a decisive 43-7 win over Belmont. In the victory, Declann Michielin rushed for a pair of touchdowns and caught another from pivot Gideone Kremler, who recorded 114 yards through the air and threw a trio of touchdown passes. Michielin led the team with 10 carries for 91 yards, while Manny Lopez gained 71 yards on four carries in the win. On defence, the Rams were led by Michael Olson’s four tackles, three sacks and a safety, Aidan Kachanoski’s two sacks, and Trystin Waters’ lone sack.

The Rams, who will be hungry to reclaim the top spot in the AAA Subway Bowl ranks this year after a loss in the final last season, will be a tough team to beat. Will the Owls be able to keep the Rams on their toes? Tune in and find out!