The GW Graham Grizzlies bounced back from a 58-7 shellacking at the hands of the Langley Saints in their last outing, crushing the Samuel Robertson Tech Titans 34-7 Friday in Maple Ridge.
The score was tied 7-7 at halftime, but four touchdowns by super junior Logan Buchwitz broke the game open.
“We came out very flat and endured a sloppy and frustrating first half but regrouped at halftime and came alive in the third quarter,” coach Laurie Smith said. “That’s when we really starting executing and making key blocks and tackles. SRT is a fast and physical team and they really gave us all we could handle for a while.”
Buchwitz has been a force for the Grizzlies all season, despite only being in Grade 10.
Playing for the junior and senior squads, he’s been unstoppable on offence and dominant on defence. Against SRT he had three receptions for 109 yards and five carries for 49 yards. On defense he added an interception and fumble recovery and led all defenders with eight tackles.
“At the start of the season he wasn’t even sure if he would play up in our varsity games and now he is playing MVP quality football,” Smith noted. “I don’t feel like I’m overstating by saying he reminds me of a Grade 10 Chase Claypool.
“Keep an eye on Logan because he is going places.”
Buchwitz was far from a one-man band.
Running back Jaiden Claassen churned up 101 yards on 16 carries while receiver Jett Thomas caught two passes for 46 yards.
Colby Bessette and Grayson Frick shared the quarterback duties and the Grizzlies totaled 175 yards through the air.
Defensive linemen Aiden Shardlow and Cooper Middleton were dominant on that side of the ball. Shardlow produced five tackles, two quarterback sacks and a fumble recovery while Middleton had four tackles, a QB sack and a 29 yard fumble return.
Defensive backs Colton Holt and Ashton Young added three tackles each.
G-Dub finished their short regular season schedule 1-2, third in the AA East division, and they launch into playoffs this weekend with a tough task. They travel to Prince George to take on the Kelly Road Road Runners Saturday morning.
Kelly Road went 1-1-1 in regular season play, finishing second in the AA Northern conference.
— Buchwitz and the GWG junior team are among the favourites to win a provincial title.
They went 4-0 in regular season play, with 169 points for and just 36 against, finishing first in the AA Eastern conference.
They draw Ballenas (Parksville) in their playoff opener Nov. 14, hosting the Whalers at Exhibition Stadium with a 3:15 p.m. kickoff.
Ballenas went 2-2 in regular season play, finishing second in the AA Western conference.
— GW Graham placed four players on the AA Eastern conference all-star team.
Quarterback Colby Bessette, running back Jaiden Claassen, defensive end Cooper Middleton and linebacker Andrew Locke were selected.