GW Graham’s junior varsity football team is one game away from a provincial final after beating Nanaimo’s John Barsby Bulldogs Wednesday afternoon.
The Grizzlies shut out the Dawgs 7-0 at Exhibition Stadium.
The stifling GWG defence was led by Braeden Macdonald, who had nine and a half tackles and an interception. Hunter German had nine tackles and Vincent Branauer had seven. Tyson Orregaard and Josh Caverley had two interceptions each.
Several of the defensive stars were offensive stars too.
Orregaard scored the game’s only touchdown, hauling in a pass from quarterback Nick Beck. James LeBlanc added the convert kick.
Macdonald produced a clutch 28 yard reception on third and long and Caverly ran hard, picking up several 10 to 15 yard chunks on the ground.
GW Graham faces a familiar foe in next Wednesday’s semi-final when they take on North Vancouver’s Windsor Dukes.
A growing rivalry between the two programs dates back to 2017 when the Dukes crushed the Grizzlies 47-7 in the senior AA provincial semi-final.
GWG’s coaches felt the Dukes ran up the score in that victory.
GW Graham gained sweet revenge last December when five Logan Buchwitz touchdowns helped them clobber Windsor 69-27 in the AA junior varsity provincial championship game. The Grizzlies didn’t take their foot off the gas pedal at all.
This year’s Windsor opponent looks formidable after pummeling Vernon 47-8 in a playoff game Wednesday.
The Dukes were 5-1 in regular season play, third in the Mainland division with 138 points for and 76 against. GW Graham was second in the division with the same 5-1 record, with 195 points for and 93 against.
GWG whomped Windsor 37-14 in a regular season meeting back on Sept. 18.
GW Graham’s program has a chance to make history.
If the JV team gets past Windsor and the senior squad beats Surrey’s Holy Cross Crusaders in a AA quarter-final Saturday night at Exhibition Stadium (7:30 p.m. start), the school will send two teams to B.C. Place Stadium for the first time.
GW Graham has sent one team to the dome annually since 2012, when the Grade 8 Grizz lost to the Notre Dame Jugglers in the provincial title game.