Another huge day from Von Richardson and a dominant outing from the GW Graham defence led the Grizzlies to a blowout win over the Samuel Robertson Tech Titans Friday night at Exhibition Stadium.
Richardson rushed for 290 yards and seven (not a mis-print) touchdowns as the Titans tumbled by a 46-7 count and the Grizzlies improved to 4-0.
Richardson and company put the boots to their overmatched and undermanned opponents from the opening kickoff.
Starting their first drive at midfield, the Grizz drove downfield on a five play series that included two Bentley Thomas to Alex Hough passes and one 27 yard Richardson touchdown run.
The GWG D set the tone for the night on SRT’s first series, a three-and-out that ended with defensive lineman Justin Hopwood stuffing a quarterback sneak on third and two.
The defence set up the second GWG major when Jacob Penner got his mitts on an SRT pass and ran the interception back to the two yard line. Richardson plowed into the endzone on the next play for a 14-0 Grizzly lead.
The Titans had the GWG offence pinned deep in its own territory as the second quarter began, scrimmaging from their 15 yard line.
Richardson took the handoff from Thomas, found some daylight off right tackle and was off to the races, covering 85 yards for the third Grizzly score.
The home team added two more touchdowns before half-time, the first a 19 yard Richardson rumble.
The second was a 15 yarder set up by a fake punt two plays earlier.
With a healthy lead and a chance to experiment, the Grizzlies turned in a special teams gem on fourth and two. Dion Kelly took the ball around the right side of the line to move the sticks and set the stage for Richardson’s fifth score.
The Titans got little done against a dominant defensive line that harrassed the quarterback at every turn and stuffed run after run after run.
“Our defence is great and we almost shut them out,” said Hopwood. “We did have a few bad series, but we stuck together, kept our heads up and kept going.”
SRT’s best series was a nine play effort in the third quarter that ended with a successful gamble on fourth and goal from the seven.
A GWG defensive back bit hard on a slant pattern and was caught as the SRT receiver cut back to the sideline for an easy completion.
The Titans recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and looked to threaten again, until Kelly ripped the ball away from an SRT receiver for an interception.
One play later, Richardson again found room off right tackle and dashed 43 yards to the endzone.
He added a five yard TD in the dying seconds to wrap up the scoring.
A large group of seniors, Richardson and Hopwood included, were recognized before and after the game for playing their last regular season home game. They’ll likely get one home playoff date, but this game had special meaning.
“It’s very significant, and definitely one of the most important games I’ll play this season,” Hopwood said. “But we will host the second round of the playoffs, and this is a good step building up to that.”
The Grizzlies and Abbotsford Panthers are tied atop the Eastern conference, each 4-0.
They meet Friday afternoon with a 3:15 p.m. kickoff at Abbotsford secondary school.