Thursday night football: Biles pushes Clan past UBC

Simon Fraser 20 UBC 19: There are better wide receivers than Jeffrey Biles and there are better kickers than Jeffrey Biles, but not many can do both better than him. Hopefully this gets reflected in some all-star selections.

Biles had a highlight-reel touchdown catch in the third quarter, and kicked a 37-yard field goal on the final play for the Clan (5-2). Simon Fraser to host a semi-final in the crazy-kooky Canada West. At the very least, Dave Johnson's team will have a bye week to rest up before playoffs.

Listening on CITR (), it sounded like this had everything one could ask for in a Shrum Bowl matchup -- a chilly, foggy night, a raucous, bipartisan crowd and a fan yelling, "I love Jeff Biles, he's my male lover," into a live mic during a post-game interview. UBC (now 2-5 and out of the playoffs) played desperate before Bernd Dittrich and SFU pulled it out in the final 90 seconds.

Dittrich, shrugging off two earlier fourth-quarter interceptions, moved the Clan 59 yards to position the ball for Biles. He faced third down twice on the final drive, picking them up with completions to Brandon Halverson and Tony Strong, the latter a 21-yarder down to the UBC 34 with under 20 seconds left.

One has to feel for UBC. Dave Boyd ran 24 times for 154 yards for the young T-Birds and their defence forced three turnovers in the fourth quarter, including interceptions by Tyler Codron and Sam Carino. Codron, the two-sport standout, made a pick at the T-Birds' five-yard line in the first minute of the fourth when SFU was looking to go up by eight points. Carino, who's had a great season for UBC, picked off a pass to set up the T-Birds for Shawn McIsaac's go-ahead field goal with 7:14 remaining.

Once again, though, UBC had some, uh, enigmatic clock-management choices. This wasn't quite so egregious as the last time. What could be? After stuffing SFU's Jeremy Levy on third-and-1 just across midfield and taking over on downs with 1:58 left, UBC ended up facing a second-and-6 situation.

It's a tough call. Do you throw for the first down and risk having the clock stop if the pass falls incomplete, or run the ball knowing you'll be able to melt away 20 crucial seconds before punting the ball away? UBC took the first option. Billy Greene threw incomplete. That provided a little more time for Simon Fraser, who needed every last second to get in field-goal range for Biles.

It might have been the right call. It's just that UBC has a young quarterback and its offensive line had cleared the way for the running back to go past 150 yards on the night.

Here's the YouTubeabe from SFU sports information impresario Scott McLean:

Western 56 U of T 15: This went as expected, with Western's fleet-footed freshman Nathan Riva rushing 15 times for 114 yards and four touchdowns to help the Mustangs lock up second place and home-field advantage for the Nov. 2 OUA semi-final. (Laurier could tie them in the standings, but the Mustangs have the tiebreaker.)

One wonders how Western and Queen's will treat their finales on Oct. 18, against Guelph and Waterloo respectively. Neither will have anything at stake, but they're going to have a week off, so they will have to play their first units to some extent.

Western's match offers more intrigue since it has playoff implications for the Gryphons, who will be coming in at 4-3 and potentially needing to win to secure home field for a quarter-final game. (This is contingent what Ottawa does against Queen's.)

How about a nice round of applause for Western fullback Dan Duff, who scored a touchdown on his first carry of the season?
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