Quarterback Garrett Rooker and receiver Sam Davenport’s excellent chemistry led the way for the UBC Thunderbirds as they defeated the STFX X-Men 47-17 in the 2023 U SPORTS Mitchell Bowl in Vancouver on Saturday afternoon.
After last week’s heroics in the final seconds of the Hardy Cup, UBC’s all-star duo stayed hot, connecting on eight plays for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Rooker found Davenport for the first points of the game on an 11-yard completion, and again for the final touchdown with a 16-yard throw. The Thunderbirds quarterback finished with 22 completions on 26 attempts, including a perfect second half, for a total of 303 yards and four of the team’s five touchdowns.
The Thunderbird defence also came up big in the win, with four sacks and three interceptions. They limited STFX to just one touchdown in the second half, that one coming off a turnover by the offensive line.
The X-Men kept it close in the first half, when quarterback Silas Fagnan scored the team’s first touchdown with a four-yard rush to start the second quarter. Kicker Ben Hadley’s field goal to end the half brought STFX’s deficit down to seven, but all they could manage in the second half was a single touchdown when Brandyn Martin scored on a 30-yard fumble recovery, while giving up 30 points to the Thunderbirds. Fagnan finished the game with only 16 completions on 31 attempts for 195 yards.
In a rematch of the 2015 championship, the Thunderbirds will play the Uteck Bowl champions, the Montréal Carabins, in the 2023 Vanier Cup in Kingston, Ont. on Saturday November 25, at 1 p.m. (Eastern).
Nike Team players of the game:
- Offensive: Garrett Rooker (UBC)
- Defensive: Jaxon Ciraolo-Brown (UBC)