Vernon product named Canadian U Sports defensive football player of week

Ben Hladik, a former Vernon Panther, had three fumble recoveries for UBC Thunderbirds

Vernon product named Canadian U Sports defensive football player of week

Vernon football product Ben Hladik had a monster game in Canadian University Sports football loss Friday.

Hladik had three fumble recoveries to earn defensive player of the week honours nationwide, despite Hladik and the UBC Thunderbirds losing 19-17 to the Regina Rams.

Hladik, a Vernon Panthers alumnus, made his impact known in the turnover game. His first recovery of the game came with less than five minutes to play in the second quarter, as Ryley Butler forced a Ryan Schienbein fumble at the UBC two-yard line, before Hladik swooped in to pick up the pigskin. That play was one of two turnovers forced by the UBC defence inside their own five-yard line, as they kept their team in it with key takeaways.

Hladik added two more fumble recoveries in the fourth quarter, including a strip sack and fumble recovery on Regina quarterback Noah Picton with just under a minute to play.

The T-Birds (1-2) look to even their record this week when they welcome Calgary to Thunderbird Stadium for UBC’s annual homecoming game, where nearly 10,000 fans took in the game last season.