The GW Graham Grizzlies fell victim to the Jesse Walker show Friday night, falling 26-6 to Mission in varsity football action.
The Grizzlies hosted the Roadrunners under the lights at Exhibition Stadium, and Walker was giving them fits from the get-go.
On Mission’s first offensive series, the Grizzlies had the Roadrunners in a third-and-13 situation.
Mission’s quarterback took the ball straight up the gut for a first down on a play he would run over and over — a wide receiver motioning through the backfield, a fake handoff and a charge up the middle.
Later on that drive he ripped off a 29 yard run and the Roadrunners had an early 6-0 lead.
Walker found the end-zone three times in the game, accounting for nearly all of the Mission offence.
He even went two of four on converts.
“Jesse Walker is probably the best skill player in the province and is virtually impossible to stop,” said GWG coach Laurie Smith.
And yet, the Grizzlies hung tough, and actually out-scored Mission 6-0 in the second half.
Credit an infusion of energy from some junior varsity call-ups.
Credit also the defence for forcing several turnovers.
Emerson Smith had a highlight-reel leaping interception in the first quarter. Kirkland Kennedy and Brett Westad also had picks.
Treyvon Walsh created another turnover, slapping the ball out of a Mission receiver’s hands for a teammate to recover.
The Grizzly offence moved well at times, sputtering at others.
Westad, GWG’s starting tailback, gutted out his fifth straight 100 yard rushing game (118 yards) and scored the only Grizzly TD. Walsh was the top receiver, hauling in several passes from quarterback Terrell Sparvier, who faced tons of pressure from Mission’s D-line.
“Overall Mission is a well-coached very good team that played a solid game on both sides of the ball,” Smith noted. “We know what we need to do to fix our issues and get ready for our next opponent, which has a comparable playmaker in Chase Claypool.
This Friday’s double header has GWG’s junior varsity squad leading off at 5 p.m. followed by the seniors at 7:30.
Claypool’s Abbotsford Panthers provides the opposition for the seniors. Both games are at Exhibition Stadium.