The Huskies football team battled the elements and the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds on Sept. 27 for a 17-12 victory in Vancouver. The Huskies are now 4-1 this season and remain in the number two spot in the Canada West rankings.
Both teams had to deal with difficult conditions as heavy rain and wind wreaked havoc on field, making it particularly tough to generate any offence. Neither team was able to break through to score a touchdown in the opening half and both saw a missed field goal.
At the end of the opening half the score was a mere 5-1 for the Thunderbirds. The points came off of a field goal and single point concessions.
With the weather letting up in the second half, the two teams were able to find their footing and create scoring opportunities.
The Huskies would score the first major of the night after Seamus Neary ran a blocked Thunderbird punt into the endzone, making the score 8-5 for the the visiting team. In the ensuing drive, the Thunderbirds found themselves pushed deep into their own territory and conceded a two-point safety to give the Huskies a 10-5 advantage.
The home team would quickly take back the lead when Thunderbirds quarterback Greg Bowcott found receiver Patrick Bull for a 24-yard pass into the endzone, making the score 12-10 with six minutes left in the third quarter.
The Huskies ended the third quarter at the Thunderbird’s 12-yard line and would finish off the drive at the start of the fourth. Quarterback Drew Burko found Charlie Power for an 11-yard pass that left the Dogs right up against the goal line. Shane Buchanan ran the ball in on the next play to give the Huskies a 17-12 edge.
With plenty of time left in the fourth quarter a Huskies victory was far from a sure thing. The Thunderbirds were not about to give up while looking for their first home game win of the season.
The home team found themselves at first and goal but would not be able to find a way through the Huskie defence. Liam Mahara fumbled the ball when he tried to leap over the defenders. Joel Sutter recovered the ball for the Dogs.
Picking the ball up at their own one-yard line, the Huskies set to work moving out of their own territory. However, after completing a first down Burko’s pass was intercepted by Thunderbirds’ safety Jordan Bosa.
The Thunderbirds started at the Huskies’ 34-yard line and were quickly within scoring distance once again, digging in at the five-yard line. The Dogs’ defence was up to the task and after a one-yard gain and two incomplete passes, the Thunderbirds turned the ball over on downs.
The Huskies were able to move the ball downfield and take some time off the clock during their next possession. The Thunderbirds would next pick up the ball at their own 48-yard line but wouldn’t get very far before having to punt the ball away.
With two minutes left, the Huskies were able to hold on to the ball and run out the clock.
Burko went 19-32 on the night for 231 yards. Receiver Kit Hillis had seven receptions for 85 yards and running backs Dexter Janke and Buchanan added 71 and 67 yards respectively.
The Huskies face the undefeated Calgary Dinos on Friday Oct. 5 at Griffiths Stadium.
Photo: Carter Brundage