Football: SFU opens the season, breaks the streak

Well, that didn't take long.

Simon Fraser's multi-year losing streak ended tonight with a 24-10 win over UBC in the early season opener. (How early? The Thunderbirds' site still shows their 2007 roster.)

UBC, #14 in the Out of Left Field countdown and #17 in three-year performance, went all the way to Burnaby to open the Canada West season against Simon Fraser (#25, #27).

Thunderbirds head coach Ted Goveia, as quoted on the CiTR broadcast, said QB Mark McVeigh "had some jitters" in the first half. Indeed, McVeigh didn't complete a pass until his third sequence of the game, was going along under 50% most of the night (ending up with 15 of 32 for 211 yards), and threw one touchdowns against two interceptions.

In the second quarter, Jeffrey Biles caught back-to-back passes from Bernd Dittrich (15/25, 315) for 12 and 41 yards, the latter leading to SFU's first touchdown since, oh, last September or so. At the half, SFU led 14-10; that was their first halftime lead since October 29, 2005.

Then, improbably, that lead grew. After a Clan field goal, Dittrich (possibly the only CanWest quarterback from Vienna) connected with Spencer Watt for another major shortly after the fourth quarter started. That 24-10 score did not change for the rest of the game, resulting in what can only be described as an upset win for Simon Fraser. It would also not be surprising if this turned out to be the loss that kept UBC out of the playoffs.

The game itself did not sound to be of terribly high quality--there seemed to be a fair number of ill-timed fumbles, interceptions, missed field goals, not to mention all the two-and-outs from UBC--but it's essentially impossible to tell from five provinces away. Overall, good on SFU for picking up their first win since 2004 in front of an opening night crowd.

And congratulations to the UBC radio crew for admitting, with about 2:40 left in the game and the 'Birds down by 14, that SFU might actually, possibly, have a chance to win this thing. Don't worry, guys, it surprised everyone else, too.

UPDATE: Here's the recap from Howard Tsumura, Little Man On Campus. The CIS still needs a blog called Medium-Sized Man On tall is Chad Lucas?
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  1. Good stuff, Rob.

    I have met Chad Lucas (he was a cityside reporter at the Halifax Herald when I did a placement there). He couldn't be the Medium-Sized Man on Campus -- like many basketball writers, he's of above-average height.

  2. I'm just glad I spelled "Simon Fraser" correctly throughout. (Simon is not related to Jason!)

    Figures that Lucas is tall. Anyone from Sherbrooke or Montreal who can be called L'homme de taille moyenne sur la campus et la région entourant l'université?