VANCOUVER – Former UBC Thunderbird Tyler Turner came back to haunt his former team, as the Alberta receiver scored a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to lead the No. 10 ranked Golden Bears to a 40-20 win over UBC, Saturday afternoon at Thunderbird Stadium.
Alberta trailed 20-17 entering the fourth, but outscored UBC 23-0 in the final 15 minutes to earn their fourth-straight win. It marks the first time since 2005 the Bears have started a season 4-1. It’s also the first win for Alberta in Vancouver since 2010.
With the loss, UBC remains winless on the season (0-5).
“The confidence level of this group is so high. It feels great to come back here and play well, but all we care about is another win,” said Turner. “It just shows that all the work during the off season and during practice is paying off. To comeback in the fourth quarter like we did is huge.”
Along with the pair of Turner TD’s, rookie Bears kicker Jonathan Giustini tied a program record with six made field goals on six attempts, as he finished the game with a career-high 21 points.
Alberta also forced three key turnovers in the fourth quarter (two interceptions and a forced fumble), all of which led to scores for the Bears.
“The kids just decided they wanted to win the game and made it happen. We were very discombobulated,” said Alberta Head Coach Chris Morris. “The beginning we started well then things started happening and we just got a little off track there for awhile, so it was good to get back on track and make some plays at the end of the game to pull away.”
Bears starting QB Brad Launhardt finished another solid performance, throwing for 320 yards and two passing touchdowns, while rushing for one in the first quarter.
Following the Launhardt TD plunge, the rest of the opening quarter was a dual between the respective kickers. Giustini continued his stellar season with a pair of field goals, including a career-long 49 yarder early in the second quarter.
“Six-for-six, incredible. He’s just such a great kid. When we recruited him, that was the top thing on his board, the type of person he is and how solid he is,”Morris of Giustini. “It’s just great to see him succeed.”
Bears kicker Garrin McDonnell also made a pair, including a matching 49-yarder midway through the second, cutting Alberta’s lead down to 14-6.
Despite controlling play for most of the first half, Alberta allowed a late UBC touchdown with 19 seconds left - a 15-yard TD strike from Olivares to Trey Kellogg – as they held a slim 14-13 lead.
UBC was able to take their first lead of the game late in the third quarter, thanks to a pair of receiving touchdowns for Trey Kellogg, giving the home side a 20-14 edge.
Trailing by three entering the fourth, the Bears came out a completely different team. Turner hauled in TD receptions of eight and 34 yards, while Guistini hit both extra points, along with three field goals in the fourth.
Jayden Dalke and Donovan Burgmaier each pulled in fourth quarter interceptions, nullifying every UBC comeback attempt.
The 4-1 Golden Bears will look for a fifth-straight win next weekend, as they travel to Calgary to take on the 4-1 Calgary Dinos on Saturday afternoon at McMahon Stadium.