Streakers, Regina Rams elude Thunderbirds in sold-out Homecoming game

Despite outgaining the Regina Rams in total yardage, the UBC Thunderbirds lost 21–13 to their conference rivals on Friday night in front of a sold-out Homecoming crowd at the Thunderbird Stadium. It was UBC’s first fully in-person Homecoming game since 2019.

The Thunderbirds struggled to capitalize on key opportunities throughout the game, including a first-and-goal situation with one second left to play in the first half. In a pivotal play, UBC quarterback Garrett Rooker handed the ball off to running back Dane Kapler. Had Kapler found the endzone, the T-Birds could have entered the second half with a 17–14 lead; instead, they were down 14–10 at the start of the third quarter.

The Thunderbirds failed to take the lead at any point in the game. The first quarter was slow to start — the most exciting moment was a streaker taking the field and outrunning a pursuing UBC player. The T-Birds gained momentum in the second quarter, scoring twice with a 21-yard pass to tight end Lucas Robertson and a 32-yard field goal by Owen Brown.

Streaker narrowly escapes pursuing UBC player.
Streaker narrowly escapes pursuing UBC player. Diana Hong / The Ubyssey

Early in the fourth, a 22-yard field goal by UBC’s Kieran Flannery-Fleck brought the score up to 14–13. But a few minutes later, Rams quarterback Noah Pelletier connected with Bennett Stusek for a 9-yard touchdown pass, extending Regina’s lead to 21–13.

With less than two minutes left on the game clock, a 9-yard run by Rooker gave the Thunderbirds a second-and-one on Regina’s 28-yard line. It seemed that UBC would get the opportunity to tie the game, but, under pressure, Rooker’s next two passes fell incomplete and the T-Birds missed their chance.

After the game, UBC head coach Blake Nill mentioned missed opportunities.

"We're on the one-yard line, we don't get in, we have a couple opportunities to narrow the score, we missed a few kicks, we just didn't make plays when we needed to and that's been our issue all year," he said. "We're competing a lot of the time, but I think right now our team is struggling with the fact that we're not making the right kind of plays to win."

With the loss, UBC’s record drops to 1–3, placing them at second-to-last in the Canada West conference. Meanwhile, the Rams improve to 3–1.

Next Friday, the Thunderbirds hope to end their three-game losing streak in Calgary against the University of Calgary Dinos.

Crazy P rallies the crowd.
Crazy P rallies the crowd. Diana Hong / The Ubyssey