National Champions: UBC wins Vanier Cup for first time since 1997
The UBC Thunderbirds are the national champions in Canadian college football, upsetting the defending champion University of Montreal Carabins 26-23 to win the Vanier Cup.
This is the fourth time that UBC has won the Vanier Cup and their first since 1997.
Michael O’Connor, the T-Birds’ 19-year-old quarterback, had a huge game. He was 31-for-51, passing the ball for 389 yards and one touchdown. Will Watson was his favourite receiver, picking up 12 catches for 171 yards. On the ground, UBC’s Brandon Deschamps 79 yards and one touchdown.
The Thunderbirds had a great start in this one, jumping out to a quick 16-0 lead.
Montreal took advantage of a turnover in the second quarter, scoring a touchdown to make the game 16-7 with 2:59 left.
UBC tried an unsuccessful fake field goal late in the first half that would have made the score 19-7. Instead, the Carabins got the ball and marched it 92-yards down the field for a late first half field goal to make it 16-10 at the half.
T-Birds running back Brandon Deschamps had a massive 44-yard touchdown run in the 3rd quarter to give the T-Birds some more breathing room, making the score 23-10.
After a couple of field goals to make the score close, Montreal completed a 9-play, 88-yard drive with 7:45 left in the 4th quarter to tie the game 23-23.
UBC had a chance to take the lead with 1:32 left, but botched the snap on a 41-yard field goal attempt.
Montreal got the ball back in great field position, but an A.J. Blackwell interception with 1:19 left gave UBC another chance.
The T-Birds marched the ball down the field, setting up a 20-yard field goal from Quinn van Gylswyk to win the game.
(Photo: UBC Thunderbirds Facebook)