In his first game back from a broken foot

GW Graham Grizzlies make statement walloping Wolves

Robert Bateman was supposed to have a high-octane offence, but the GW Graham D made the Timberwolves look thoroughly average.

The three-headed monster of Gabe Olivares, Ethan Mastin and Von Richardson led GW Graham to a one-sided win Friday night at Exhibition Stadium.The Grizzlies hosted the Robert Bateman Timberwolves in their season opener, cruising to a 32-0 victory.Olivares threw for 208 yards and two touchdowns.The cannon-armed quarterback ran for another as his Grizzlies took down one of the top ranked AA teams in BC.Mastin was the QB’s favourite target, catching five balls for 151 yards and two majors. No. 28 in blue proved uncoverable, producing three field-tilting catches.Richardson, checking back into the lineup after missing the last few games with a broken foot, rumbled for 103 yards and a TD on 16 carries.GWG took a 3-0 lead on their opening series. An Olivares to Mastin bomb down the right sideline took the Grizz deep into Bateman territory.The drive fizzled and Spencer Breslin booted a 40 yard field goal. Breslin punched a 45 yarder through the uprights early in the second quarter to double the lead.With time ticking away in the first half, the Grizzlies took the ball at their own 33 yard line.Olivares dropped back and rainbowed a pass to Mastin for 48 yards.Mastin finished the drive, catching a 10 yard TD pass on a slant to give his team a 13-0 lead at the break.On the first GWG drive of the second half, Olivares stepped into the huddle and called his own play.The QB dialed up ‘flood right,’ rolling out on a bootleg and finding Mastin jetting past the safeties for a 65 yard catch and run.“I know some of the guys on this (Bateman) team and they have good defensive backs,” Mastin said. “It just came back to our offensive line giving Gabe and me time to connect on the deep stuff.”“Gabe and I discussed that play at half-time and we knew that’s what we were going to do.”After a botched snap on a punt gave GWG the ball deep in Bateman territory, the Grizzlies punched in their third TD on a Richardson run up the gut.“We missed Von for sure during the preseason and he was strong coming back,” Mastin said. “I know it was tough for him to sit out, but he totally  rocked it like he hasn’t missed a game.”Olivares wrapped up the scoring with a quarterback sneak midway through the fourth quarter.The Grizzly D was outstanding, led by big Dakota Mathers.The hulking lineman produced nine tackles, three quarterback sacks and a fumble recovery in a dominant performance.Breslin chipped in with a pair of interceptions as GWG shut down what was supposed to be a top-tier attack.Bateman tried to confuse the Grizzlies with misdirection, but the disciplined D kept the Wolves bottled up.  Bateman’s offence rarely tested the Grizzlies down the field, settling for a ton of runs and short passes. “We went into the game knowing this was one of the better offences,” said Mastin, who showed his two-way chops by adding five tackles. “We showed what we can really do as a D.”“We can really destroy teams.”After a rocky preseason that saw GWG lose nearly half their roster to injuries, a much healthier Grizz crew showed they can be a formidable force in BC high school football.Friday finds them facing a tough Holy Cross Crusaders squad at Exhibition Stadium, with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.“We were mentally and physically tough tonight and did what we needed to do,” Mastin said. “Holy Cross will be a big game as well and we’ll look to stay Grizzly tough.”

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