The G.W. Graham Grizzlies and Terry Fox Ravens will meet at B.C. Place Stadium this weekend in the AAA high school football championship game.
The Grizzlies punched their ticket Saturday (Nov. 27) with a 19-0 win over the Centennial Centaurs at B.C. Place, while the Ravens took out the Notre Dame Jugglers by a 27-12 count.
Sam Mannes led the offense from his running back position, carrying 30 times for 153 well-earned yards. Backup Gage O’Neill turned four carries into 18 yards and a touchdown.
Quarterback Lucas Feaver had another efficient day, completing 13 of 17 pass attempts for 193 yards and a major, connecting with Tyson Kelly.
The G.W. Graham defense was led by Vincent Branauer, who produced two quarterback sacks. Kade Kelly and Raiden Mastin combined on a sack that counted as a two-point safety.
Nick Beck had an interception and O’Neill led the D with four tackles.
“Our defence responded extremely well to the big stage at BC Place, making big plays at the right time against a great team,” said D coordinator Ian Parks.
This weekend’s title game (time TBA) is a rematch of a regular season game from late October. The Grizzlies fell 34-0 to their Eastern Conference rivals in Coquitlam, the only loss G.W. Graham suffered in 13 regular season and playoff games.
Parks said his crew learned a lot about Terry Fox, and themselves, from their previous meeting.
“A lot more than you can pick up in watching film alone, and since that game, we have become more versatile and experienced,” he said. “For versatility, our depth at different positions will add to our ability to show different looks. As far as experience, we have had some close games and know what it takes to win big games.”
Ravens running back Gavin Whittingham is the big threat. Over six regular season games he rolled up 726 yards and eight touchdowns on 106 carries.
“Whittingham is as advertised,” Parks said. “He’s a great running back. Our defence is looking forward to the challenge.”
The GWG offense had trouble with the Terry Fox D, particularly in the passing game, where Feaver threw three interceptions. Mannes was held to 56 yards on 15 carries.
Grizzlies head coach Luke Acheson said his team was able to move the ball effectively against the Ravens, and they just couldn’t finish drives.
He also said injuries were a factor leading up to that first meeting.
“Since then we have made a few adjustments and added a few concepts that will help us be more consistent on offense,” Acheson said. “With a good week of practice and all our players healthy and working hard in the same direction we are confident that we will be able to be productive.
“Having played already we will be more aware of Fox’s playing style and some of the individual matchups we will be dealing with. It’s tough to get an absolute sense of a team from film alone. Lining up and playing earlier in the season will help us to game plan more specifically and effectively.”