Grizzlies pull off upset of the year

The AAA powerhouse Vancouver College Fighting Irish fell to the AA upstarts from GW Graham in a Grade 8 football playoff game Tuesday.

Emilio Pineda has had some big games rushing the football, but nothing like he pulled off Tuesday night.

Pineda carried the ball an astonishing 40 times for 201 yards, three touchdowns and two two-point converts, helping his Grade 8 GW Graham Grizzlies upset Vancouver College 24-18.

Vancouver College entered the game as the top-ranked AAA team in the province.

An offensive line led by Jake Troyan and Gibson Hardie helped the Grizzlies grind out 300-plus yards on the ground, using a single wing formation to overwhelm the heavily favoured Fighting Irish.

Ethan Mastin had nine carries for 70 yards

“It’s fair to say that Vancouver College, with their rich tradition and excellent football program, did not expect a brand new small school program from Chilliwack to compete on their level,” said GWG head coach Laurie Smith. “We used our strength, our offensive line (averaging over 200 pounds per player) to patiently grind out yards, and we kept telling the boys to stay calm and do their jobs. They responded like seasoned veterans.”

Twin terrors Jaren and Michael Lengert led the GWG defence.

Jared recorded 13 tackles.

Michael had eight.

Troyan, Liam McKormick and Spencer Breslin added five apiece. The defensive play of the game came in the final minute of play with Vancouver College pressing for the winning TD.

On fourth and five from the Grizzlies 40 yard line, Mastin lined up at outside linebacker and sacked the VC quarterback.

“I’m so proud of what these guys have accomplished in our first season of high school football,” Smith said. “They put tiny little GW Graham on the BC football map with a huge upset.”

The Grizzlies advance to the AAA Provincial semi-finals, facing the St. Thomas More Knights next Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

The winner of that game advances to the Provincial championship, Dec. 1 at BC Place.

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