Dual-threat G.W. Graham quarterback Lucas Feaver has terrorized opponents this season with his arm and his legs and leads his Grizzlies into the AAA provincial football championship game this weekend. (Joanne Hewitt photo)

Chilliwack’s G.W. Graham Grizzlies one win away from provincial football title

The defending champs take on Vancouver College in the AAA championship game at BC Place Stadium

Only one team now stands between the G.W. Graham Grizzlies and a second straight provincial AAA football championship.

Vancouver College is the opponent Saturday (Dec. 3 at 7 p.m.) under the big top at B.C. Place Stadium, and the Grizz wouldn’t have it any other way. It was the Fighting Irish who handed the locals their only loss of the season, a 28-23 setback way back in week one. Since that game, quarterback Lucas Feaver and his G.W. Graham teammates have been hoping for a rematch.

“This is what everyone was hoping for,” the QB said. “We didn’t want to look back with any doubt that we are the better team.”

Feaver said the Grizzlies learned from that loss. The offence played well that day, but there were crucial mistakes at crucial times. Penalties were a problem.

“It was a close game, and either team could have won it,” Feaver said. “If our offence, defence and special teams can play just a bit better than last time — now that we’ve fixed our mistakes I think we’re going to win.”

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There are parallels between this season and last. In the middle of the 2021 campaign the Grizzlies were swatted 34-0 by the Terry Fox Ravens. They went on to beat that same team 36-33 in the title game.

“We fixed our mistakes and we won, and you see the same story rolling out here,” Feaver said. “We lose to VC early, and now we get our second shot at them.”

G.W. Graham rattled off five straight regular season wins after that week one loss, finishing the regular season with the province’s best points for/points against ratio at plus 203. They survived their playoff opener, beating the South Delta Sun Devils 48-47 in overtime, and punched their ticket to the final by beating St. Thomas More (STM) 27-10.

Feaver said the South Delta game was a perfectly timed wakeup call and a reminder that football is truly a game of inches. If not for a blocked point-after kick, the Sun Devils would have ended G.W. Graham’s season.

“Almost losing woke us up a bit and prepared us for STM, and then having a close game with STM prepared us for this weekend,” Feaver said. “They (Van College) have had a lot of games where they’ve been up 20 or 30 points, where we’ve had a lot of super close dogfights lately. I think that’s been better for us.”

G.W. Graham defensive coordinator Ian Parks said his team will be tested by a foe that runs the ball better than anyone. Tailback Hudson Bromley is one of the best in B.C., running behind a solid offensive line.

“Our defence will have to all be on the same page and work together to stop the VC running game,” Parks said. “And after VC marches with their successful runs, their air attack and receiver Michael Joseph are always a threat to score on quick strikes.

“But as long as our defence plays with discipline in their assignments, we will have a successful game. We are looking forward to our rematch.”

Offensively, head coach/offensive coordinator Luke Acheson said the game will be won in the trenches.

“Vancouver College has proven to be the most talented and physical front seven that we have played this year,” he said. “The challenge that our players are looking forward to is matching that level of physicality and intensity that we saw from them in our October matchup.”

Win or lose, this will be Feaver’s last game with the Grizzlies. The soon-to-be graduate already cemented his legacy with the school’s first-ever AAA provincial football title last year. Winning another would be a dream come true.

“As soon as I got here in Grade 7 and looked at the banners on the wall, I knew I wanted to be someone who would be known at this school forever,” Feaver said. “Getting to win that one last year was great, but going back to back is 10 times harder to do. We do that, and that’s when you can say, ‘That guy was one of the very best to play here.”

This entire team is at the point where we know we can become some of the best to ever play at Graham.”


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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