Chris Zuk, Bison Sports
MANITOBA – In back-to-back weeks, the Manitoba Bisons almost upset a nationally ranked team but instead fell short as #6 UBC Thunderbirds held on to a 17-16 road win in week seven of Canada West football at Investors Group Field on Saturday, October 21.
With the home loss, Manitoba drops to 1-6 and officially eliminated from any 2017 post-season action while UBC improves to 5-2 record and in a battle for second place.
For the Bisons, it was numerous trips in the red zone with no touchdowns that tripped up the hosts and basically summed up a frustrating season for the Herd.
"This loss was tough. It was all about the red zone," commented Brian Dobie, Bison Football head coach, after the loss. "We definitely played well and could have won as it was one point game but we self-destructed in the red zone and came away with only field goals. We killed ourselves in the red zone."
Manitoba had several opportunities to score more but was thwarted throughout the game and three interceptions by starting quarterback Des Catellier stopped promising drives.
"I though we moved the ball well but when we got inside the 30, 20 yard lines and gave up the ball and it was careless," stated Catellier. "I'll have study film and see where we can get better next year."
In a tight defensive battle where points was at a premium especially in the second half, UBC marched four plays for 41 yards and was capped with backup Cole Meyer one yard TD plunge for the eventual winning score at 10:44 of the third.
The visitors had an effective ground games with huge holes opening for Ben Cummings to run through as he churned out 143 yards on 19 carries for a 7.5 rush average in the victory. Quarterback Michael O' Connor was also able to mix up the run and pass game as he threw for 291 yards on 23-36 passing with one touchdown pass.
Another standout for the T-Birds was Trivel Pinto as grabbed a game-high 136 receiving yards on seven catches including an 80 yard TD reception. Pinto finished with 190 all-purpose yards while Cummings was the leader at 207.
Manitoba kept chasing the elusive win, as they had to settle for a Brad Mikoluff 23 yard field goal at the three minute mark of the fourth, which marked his third FG of the day with others coming from 11 and 28 yards. Drives that could have amounted to more than just three for the Bisons.
Catellier did have his first ever 300 yard game at the university level as he went 22-39 for 308 yards with the three picks as well.
Jamel Lyles ran hard today as he recorded his second 100 rushing game of the season with 115 yards on the ground on 14 carries for a gaudy 8.2 average and two catches for 19 yards. Stephen Ugbah had a team-high 66 receiving yards on three catches as ten different Bison receivers caught at least one pass. Shai Ross added 147 all-purpose yards with 59 on kick returns, 49 receiving and 39 on punt returns. Offensive lineman Anthony Daley scored on a one yard fumble recovery for a touchdown in the first half.
UBC finishes the CW regular season at Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver on Saturday, October 28 at 1 p.m. PT. Manitoba ends their season on the road at Saskatchewan at Griffiths Stadium on the same day at 7 p.m. MT in week eight play.
Bison Notes: The team honoured ten graduating fifth year players before the start of the game. This was the first time that Manitoba has ended a season 0-4 at home since the 1998 campaign when the squad went 0-8 that season.
FB: No. 6 UBC secure road win at Manitoba
Chris Zuk, Bison Sports