Playoff football has arrived for the GW Graham Grizzlies, who face Windsor secondary in a high school quarter final tomorrow (Saturday) night.
The Grizz host the Dukes at Exhibition Stadium (5 p.m.) kickoff.
The Dukes are the first of three opponents GWG must dispatch to claim its first ever senior varsity provincial title.
They will be no pushover.
Windsor quarterback Ryan Baker may be the most formidable foe the Grizzlies D has faced this year.
“He’s six-foot-two or three, athletic and physical,” said GWG head coach Adam Smith. “He’s powerful and he’s not scared to run.
“He’s really good with the ball fakes, getting you to move one way and coming back the other way.
“And you’ve got to get to this kid quick because he’s got a fast first step, and if you don’t get him early he’s at full speed.”
The Grizzlies have done a great job maintaining gap control on D, holding the edges and bottling up opponents.
The problem with Baker is he’s also got an arm, and he’s got a high-calibre target to throw to in Julian Perri.
In a 44-31 win over Vernon’s Clarence Fulton Maroons last weekend, Baker ran for three majors and hooked up with Perri on a pair of long pass-and-run TDs.
Baker also plays linebacker for the Dukes, so part of the strategy will be to wear him down with a full dose of running back Von Richardson.
The Grizzlies should be fresh because they haven’t played since Nov. 4.
Smith isn’t worried about the long layoff and doesn’t expect his team to be rusty.
“I’m not worried at all about losing our sharpness, and it’s our job as a coaching staff to get them prepared,” he said. “And I think being at home could be the difference in this game.
“Getting a big crowd of students, getting the pep band, it’s an awesome atmosphere that our players love.”
The winner of this game will face either the Seaquam Seahawks (Delta) or Duchess Park Condors (Prince George)in a Nov. 26 semi-final at BC Place Stadium.