SFU (1): 33 game losing streak ended for the Clan

Thomas Ford era opens with 54-7 victory, ending 33 game losing streak


BURNABY, BC – Simon Fraser University opened the Thomas Ford-era crushing Willamette University 54-7, snapping a 33-game losing streak dating back four seasons, Saturday in front of 1,265 sun-soaked fans at Terry Fox Field.

Simon Fraser scored early and often, jumping out to a 21-0 lead nine minutes into the contest, built a 35-0 halftime lead, and then coasted to a comfortable victory after three winless seasons. Simon Fraser hasn’t tasted victory since October 18, 2014.

None of that mattered to new head coach Ford, who has only been at the helm of the team since this January.

“I’m so excited for our players because this group of guys believe in what we are doing and they don’t care about the history, and they don’t care about the losing streak, “said Ford. “For them they are starting our season 1-0 and that’s all that matters.”

Simon Fraser scored every which way in the first quarter— a one-yard run by junior transfer Jason Nelson, a 60-yard interception return by senior cornerback Jaryn Bailey and a 38-yard touchdown reception by junior Rysen John from senior quarterback Miles Richardson.

“We have a really fun offence and guys want to play in it and get on the field because we move the ball around,” continued Ford. “We don’t rely on one or two guys to get the job done. In this system everyone contributes and you saw that this afternoon.”

Fans were thoroughly entertained on and off the field, enjoying the Nesters Markets $1 Welcome BBQ, performances by the SFU Robert Malcolm Memorial Jr. Pipe Band and singer Marie Hui and free access to the SFU Climbing Wall.

Simon Fraser added two more scores in the second quarter with another 1-yard run by Nelson and a 28-yard TD catch by freshman Robert Meadors.

The Clan defence also stood tall on Saturday under coordinator Taylor Summers, holding the Bearcats to just six first downs, 18 yards rushing on 13 carries and 72 yards passing in the first half. The Bearcats didn’t fair much better the rest of the way as the Clan defence held the Bearcats to -9 yards rushing on 30 carries in the game.

“The defence did a phenomenal job of keeping everything in front of them and not getting beat over the top and really making plays all game,” said Ford. “The interception for a touchdown was huge and we got a fumble that set up another score. It was one of those days where the defence really just came together.”

Simon Fraser scored again midway through the third quarter on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Richardson to sophomore Ethan Beselt, capping a 7-play 43-yard drive that put the Clan ahead 41-0. Simon Fraser played its backups the rest of the way with freshman quarterback Justin Seiber passing 10-yards to freshman receiver Devin O’Hea, capping a 69-yard drive to end the third quarter.

Willamette had a 13-play, 75-yard drive in the third quarter capped by a 1-yard run for its only score.

Sophomore running back Nicholas Grossi, who rushed for 55-yards on 13 carries, mostly in the second half, scored a TD on a 5-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Simon Fraser finished with 379-yards of total offence compared to just 134 by the Bearcats.

STATS: Starting quarterback Richardson had an efficient afternoon, finishing 12-of-17 for 180 yards and 3 TDS. He was at his best on the Clan’s first drive, directing the offence on a 15-play, 89-yard drive to give the Clan the lead and set the tone for the game. Seiber was 5-of-11 for 79 yards in mop-up duty. Third-string quarterback Mihai Lapuste also saw action, going 3-for-3 in limited minutes.

Starting tailback Nelson rushed for 68 yards and two TDs while the top receivers were Beselt (7 catches, 85 yards), O’Hea (4 catches, 80 yards), John (2 catches, 48 yards) and Meadors (3 catches, 40 yards). They each scored a touchdown.

NEXT UP: Simon Fraser plays its next two games on the road at Azusa Pacific (Sept. 8) and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (Sept. 15). The Clan returns home on Sept. 22 to play Central Washington on Terry Fox Field (6PM kick-off).

TICKETS:  Tickets are on sale now for the Clan’s next home game vs Central Washington. Fans who purchase tickets online in advance will save money.  Tickets purchased online are $10 for adults and $5 for youth 14-and-under, visiting students & seniors. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for youth 14-and-under, visiting students & seniors when purchased at the gate. Children under 6 are admitted free.

PARKING:  Free parking is offered with admission in the Visitor West Parkade or Visitor North during all varsity home events again this season using the varsity18 code at parking meters.

Source: Steve Frost, Associate Director, Marketing & Communications | SFU Clan Athletics

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