Brennan Van Nistelrooy earns Special Team Player of the Week

It’s not often a player registers a trio of touchdowns and an interception in a four-overtime thriller, but that’s exactly what UBC Thunderbird Trivel Pinto did over the weekend.

Thanks to those numbers, Pinto was named the Canada West offensive player of the week on Monday.

Pinto was a man on a mission Friday in UBC’s thrilling four overtime win against the Manitoba Bisons. The receiver tied the school record of three receiving touchdowns in a game, with his final major of the night providing the decisive strike in the T-Birds’ 53-50 win at home.

Along with his offensive exploits, which included 245 receiving yards, Pinto also spent time at defensive back for UBC and registered a second quarter interception, making his offensive exploits that much more impressive.

Defensively, Regina’s Danny Nesbitt stood out over the weekend and is the conference player of the week after registering a pair of interceptions for the Rams against the Saskatchewan Huskies.

In front of a Canada West record crowd of 16,500, Nesbitt came up big for the Canada West front running Rams (4-1), who christened Regina’s new Mosaic Stadium in style.

On special teams, Brennan Van Nistelrooy of the Calgary Dinos – just like Pinto – stood out on two sides of the ball this weekend, as Calgary romped to a 50-15 win over the Alberta Golden Bears.

The safety and punter recorded 3.5 tackles and an interception Saturday, as the Dinos celebrated the University of Calgary’s 50th anniversary.

The former Bear, however, earned conference honours this week thanks to his big leg and fake punt prowess.

Van Nistelrooy launched five punts for 184 yards, but his biggest special teams play of the game came on a nine-yard fake punt run in the first half that moved the chains for the Dinos and led directly to a Calgary major.

This coming week marks the annual Canada West bye week, as teams rest up for the final three weeks of the regular season and the road to the Hardy Cup.

Conference action resumes Friday, October 14 when the T-Birds travel to Saskatoon to take on the Huskies, and the Dinos welcome the Manitoba Bisons to the Stampede City.

OFFENCE: Trivel Pinto

UBC Thunderbirds



Brampton, Ont.


Game log: Friday, Sept. 30 – 10 catches for 245 receiving yards and three touchdowns in 53-50 4OT W vs. Manitoba.

Friday was a night to remember for Trivel Pinto and the UBC Thunderbirds, who needed four overtime periods to down the Manitoba Bisons 53-50 in Vancouver.

Pinto’s individual performance along with the game will undoubtedly go down in UBC lore.

Pinto had a monstrous day for the ‘Birds, as the second-year receiver hauled in a trio of majors, including the game winner. His three TDs tied Andrew Murray’s mark set October 6, 1984 against Saskatchewan.

Along with his stellar play on offence, Pinto also added an interception on the defensive side of the ball, playing defensive back for head coach Blake Nill’s team.

UBC returns to action Friday, October 14 when they travel to take on Saskatchewan at Griffiths Stadium in Saskatoon.

DEFENCE: Danny Nesbitt

Regina Rams



Regina, Sask.

Busines Administration

Game log: Sarturday, Oct. 1 – two interceptions, 1 pass breakup and 2.5 tackles in 37-29 W vs. Saskatchewan.

Third-year linebacker Danny Nesbitt had a pair of interceptions for the University of Regina Rams in their 37-29 win over Saskatchewan on Saturday in front of a Canada West-record 16,500 spectators at the new Mosaic Stadium.

Nesbitt’s first interception came on Saskatchewan’s second drive of the game after back-to-back first downs by the Huskies brought them across midfield. He picked off a Kyle Siemens pass and rumbled downfield 31 yards before finally being brought down, setting up a short Regina drive that resulted in the first points ever scored on the new field.

His second interception came with the Rams leading by eight and under two minutes to go on the clock. Nesbitt picked off Siemens again to not only give the Rams the ball deep in Saskatchewan territory, but also becoming the first University of Regina player since Kirby Kezama in the 2012 Hardy Cup to have multiple interceptions in one game.

Nesbitt was also credited with a pass breakup, one solo tackle, and three assisted tackles as the first-place Rams move to 4-1 on the season.


SPECIAL TEAMS: Brennan Van Nistelrooy

Calgary Dinos



Lethbridge, Alta.

Open Studies 

Game log: Saturday, Oct. 1 – 184 punt yards, fake punt first down, an interception and 3.5 tackles in 50-15 W vs. Alberta. 

Former Alberta Golden Bear Brennan Van Nistelrooy had a day against his old team Saturday. One of the most versatile athletes in the conference, the third-year safety was a key cog in Calgary’s 50-15 win over Alberta at McMahon Stadium.

On special teams, the 2016 sixth-round pick of the BC Lions punted five times for 184 yards, adding nine rushing yards on a fake punt that kept a Calgary drive alive in the first half and led to a touchdown on the very next play.

Defensively, Van Nistelrooy made yet another key play. With the Bears backed up to their own two-yard line in the fourth quarter, the Dinos’ safety got a hand on a Ben Kopczynski pass in the end zone. Somehow, he was able to get eyes on the tipped ball, track it down, and dive to make the interception for a touchdown, making it 36-15 and putting the game out of reach.

Van Nistelrooy also added 3.5 tackles on the afternoon.

The Dinos, along with the rest of the conference, take the Thanksgiving weekend off before returning to action Friday, Oct. 14 when they play host to the Manitoba Bisons at McMahon Stadium.


Credit: Evan Daum, Canada West Communications