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UBC Thunderbirds down X-Men in Uteck Bowl to advance to Vanier Cup

ANTIGONISH, N.S. — Quarterback Michael O'Connor threw two touchdown passes to Trivel Pinto, and running back Brandon Deschampes added another on the ground to lead the UBC Thunderbirds to a decisive 36-9 victory over the hometown St. FX X-Men on Saturday in the Uteck Bowl.

The Thunderbirds will play the Montreal Carabins for the Vanier Cup in Quebec City next weekend. Montreal beat the Guelph Gryphons 25-10 in the Mitchell Bowl earlier Saturday to advance to the Canadian university football championship game.

O'Connor completed 21-of-31 passes for 272 yards and was intercepted once. UBC kicker Quinn Van Gylswyk added four field goals while Taylor Loffler led the way defensively with a number of big tackles.

X-Men quarterback Tivon Cook threw for 250 yards and one touchdown pass and was intercepted three times.

UBC, which landed in Antigonish following a 34-26 victory in the Canada West final over the No. 1-ranked University of Calgary Dinos, looked strong on both sides of the ball. The Thunderbirds grabbed the lead at 3:19 of the first quarter and didn't let up for the rest of the game.

The X-Men, who won the Atlantic University Sports final with a last-minute field goal over Mount Allison, forced a number of turnovers but couldn't capitalize. They failed to score a major until the last minute of play, with Cook hitting Donald Tabor for a 22-yard pass in the end zone.

The Canadian Press

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