UBC's power trio of (left to right) Ben Cummings, Trivel Pinto and Alex Morrison, had plenty of celebratory moments in Saturday's 81st Hardy Cup clashing Calgary, but in the end, the 'Birds fell victim to the longest field goal in Canadian university sports history. (Richard Lam, UBC athletics)
Feature University Football

“It just rips your heart out” — UBC season ends on longest field goal in Canadian university history

It was a game whose conclusion would have defied the logic of a thousand seasoned bettors. It came on a field goal attempt the football gods, 999 times out of that 1,000, would have pushed wide or pulled up short based solely on its audacity.

Ben Hladik may be a tue freshman at the tender age of 18, but he was picked the Canada West's Defensive Player of the Week this week for plays like this one, sacking reigning Hec Crighton award winner Noah Picton of the Regina Rams last week in Vancouver. (UBC photo by Richard Lam)
Feature High School Football

Hints of greatness: Big Ben begins blue-and-gold career looking like a potential UBC all-timer

VANCOUVER — Ben Hladik is so attuned to everything he does as a football player, that even a discussion of his jersey number with the UBC Thunderbirds is important enough to provide a most thoughtful answer.

Not the gentle falling of snowflakes, nor the impending pass rush of the Regina Rams could prevent UBC quarterback Michael O'Connor from extending his pass efficiency streak to three games... and four wins and counting. (Richard Lam, UBC athletics)
Feature University Football

TSUMURA: My 5 Big Takeaways as UBC football edges Regina for Hardy Cup and national Final 8 berth

VANCOUVER — Blake Nill said it in the aftermath of of his team’s defeat back on Sept. 29 to the visiting Calgary Dinos: Everything his UBC Thunderbirds wanted to accomplish this season wouldn’t happen without first going through Calgary and finding a way to beat the Dinos.

Calgary receiver Michael Klukas (front) battles UBC defensive back Jean Ventose on Friday at Thunderbird Stadium. (UBC athletics photo by Bob Frid)
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Nill labels UBC loss to Dinos “…an ass kicking” as all roads to Vanier now go through Calgary

VANCOUVER— Blake Nill has never pulled punches, and the UBC Thunderbirds head coach wasn’t about to start a new trend Friday.“You can call it what you want but it was an ass-kicking,” Nill said following his team’s 31-17 loss to the Calgary Dinos at Thunderbird Stadium. “When we had momentum, we were stopping the run […]

UBC cornerback Will Maxwell (3) has proven himself to be the quickest of studies. (Bob Frid/UBC athletics)
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Will Maxwell: A year ago, UBC cornerback had never made a tackle… now he leads the team

VANCOUVER — The leading tackler on the best defensive team in the Canada West has a confession to make. “Up until the end of last season, I had never played a down of defence in my life,” says Will Maxwell. “Until last year, I had never even made a tackle.”

UBC head coach Blake Nill, pictured with offensive coordinator Paul Orazietti, says Calgary has set the Canada West's gold standard. (Richard Lam/UBC athletics)
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UBC’s Nill on Friday foes from Calgary: “They are the ones we have to measure ourselves against.”

VANCOUVER — The last time the UBC Thunderbirds won four straight Canada West conference football games was back in 2015 when Blake Nill was the team’s first-year head coach. History tells us, of course, that the ‘Birds parlayed that quartet of regular season-ending games into an eventual seven-game win streak that culminated with a Vanier Cup […]

Thunderbird Stadium was packed to the rafters Saturday as UBC beat Saskatchewan on homecoming weekend. (Richard Lam/UBC athletics)
Feature University Football

My Top 6 UBC football takeaways, highlighted by huge crowd numbers and Prez Santa’s presence

My biggest takeaways from Saturday evening’s UBC football game which featured the biggest crowd I have seen for a university sports event in the 16 seasons since I got off the NBA beat: