The GW Graham Grizzlies got back to the way they’re supposed to play Friday night, blowing out the Rick Hansen Hurricanes 42-0 in their home opener.
After looking sluggish in a 21-14 week one win over Robert Bateman, the Grizz recaptured their provincial powerhouse form on both sides of the ball.
Offensively, GWG bludgeoned the Hurricanes with the run game and dismantled their overwhelmed opponents with a lethal air attack.
Defensively, the Grizzlies had Rick Hansen moving backwards for most of the game.
The Hurricanes didn’t come within 45 yards of the GWG end zone in the face of a dominant defensive front and stifling secondary.
The Grizzlies took just two plays to get on the board in this one. Quarterback Gabe Olivares found Baker Douglas flying down the left sideline, hit him in stride and watched him scamper 55 yards into the endzone.
Olivares was intercepted on the second GWG series, but came back on the third, leading a four play drive that ended with an 11 yard touchdown pass to Ethan Mastin.
Emerson Smith reeled in Olivares’ third TD toss on the first play of the second quarter, giving his crew a 21-0 lead.
And they just kept coming.
A Cainen Bergh fumble recovery set up the offence at the Rick Hansen 52, and two plays later they were back in the endzone, with Von Richardson ripping off a 15 yard touchdown run.
The Grizzlies added one more major just before halftime.
Olivares sucked in the Hurricane D on play action, faking a handoff and arcing a pass into the arms of Douglas, who rambled 52 yards for the score.
GWG could have had even more if not for a holding penalty that wiped out a 70 yard Emerson Smith punt return major.
Penalties were the one wart on an otherwise flawless performance.
“We stressed discipline all week, and while it was better than Bateman it was still not good enough,” said head coach Laurie Smith. “We cannot afford to take lack-of-discipline penalties in tight games and the next three will all be very competitive.”
Because Smith’s team led by so many points at the break, the game clock was set to running time for the second half.
Keeping their foot on the gas, the Grizzlies started with a cheeky onside kick that gave them the ball at the Hurricane 40.
Tristan Davis cut through the Rick Hansen defence on two runs, the second a 10 yarder right up the gut for the final GWG touchdown.
“Overall we were impressed with the intensity of the boys and thought the execution was generally good,” Smith noted. “The Eastern conference is very good with four teams in the top 10 (Graham 1, Abbotsford 2, Mission 5, Bateman 6) so we expect to battle these next three weeks against conference opponents.
GWG (2-0) is back home Friday night, hosting the Pitt Meadows Marauders (1-1) at Exhibition Stadium.
Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.