The rain couldn't keep the fans away, and it couldn't slow the New Westminster Hyacks down at Friday's annual Homecoming Night at Mercer Stadium.
The 3-A high school football team got a well-rounded performance from its running backs to blank G.W. Graham 40-0 in the final exhibition test before this weekend's regular season opener in Victoria.
Led by Grade 12 running back Michael Udoh, the No. 4-ranked Hyacks broke the stalemate late in the first quarter when Greyson Planinsic scored on a one-yard run.
It came with 54 seconds to play in the quarter, and after Udoh had covered nearly half of the field on back-to-back runs of 19 and 22 yards.
Alex Beschea kicked the point-after attempt to make it 7-0 New West.
Just as the first quarter began with a long, back-and-forth series of incompletions and fourth-and-long situations, neither team was able to gain much traction at the start of the second quarter. But the Hyacks broke it really open when Udoh scored on a 17-yard dash with 3:57 remaining in the half. It was followed quickly by Planinsic's second major of the day, this time off a 40-yard run with 2:28 on the clock.
With the defence again containing the Grizzlies deep inside their own territory, New West added one more touchdown before the half, when quarterback Payton Myers pushed it across on a one-yard keeper just before the half expired.
Ahead 26-0, New West picked up third quarter majors from Udoh, off a nine-yard pass from Myers, and Deakon Young, on a 30-yard run, to wrap up the scoring.
Udoh led all rushers with 98 yards on eight carries, whle Planinsic tallied 76 yards on six runs. In all, New West registered 263 yards rushing.
On a rain-slicked night, Myers completed two of five throws, both to Udoh, for 25 yards.
Defensively, Vishaan Narayan collared seven tackles and one QB sack, while Tyson Black and Young racked up four each. Andros Dancey also registered a QB sack.
The New West defence held the Grizzlies, who are ranked No. 2 in 2-A league, to 85 total yards.
It's off to Victoria on Friday for the Hyacks, when they face the defending provincial champion and No. 3-ranked Mount Doug Rams. It will be a rematch of last year's provincial final, although both teams have turned over a great number of starters.