Chalmers, T-Birds are national football champions

Grady Chalmers of Kamloops is a Vanier Cup champion,

The 24-year-old defensive back and his UBC Thunderbirds downed the Montreal Carabins in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport football title tilt, winning 26-23 on a last-second field goal in Quebec City on Saturday.

“It has been a pretty surreal experience so far, going from beating Calgary in the conference championship game a couple weeks ago and then out to St. FX in Nova Scotia, another big win there,” Chalmers said.

Chalmers, a Valleyview secondary graduate, became the first-ever Kamloops Broncos’ product to win a Vanier Cup, doing so in what was likely his last competitive football game.

He played four seasons with the local junior football team in the B.C. Football Conference ranks before joining UBC.

UBC was 2-6 in Canada West play last season, but finished 6-2 in 2015 before making its playoff run, downing hometown Calgary in the Hardy Cup and St. FX in the Uteck Bowl.

T-Birds quarterback Michael O’Connor passed for 389 yards and kicker Quinn van Gylswyk booted a 20-yard field goal on the game’s last play to secure victory on Saturday.

There were 12,557 fans in attendance.

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The 13th Man Foundation is not affiliated with UBC and is a separate and independent legal entity that sets its own fundraising priorities.