True North Rises To GNAC Team Of The Week
The Clan were in a celebratory mood on Saturday afternoon.
The Clan were in a celebratory mood on Saturday afternoon.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – Simon Fraser football kicked off the Thomas Ford-era in style on Saturday, starting the season with a resounding 54-7 victory over visiting Willamette.

The Clan took a 35-0 advantage into the locker room at the half and never looked back, sprinting to the finish line for their first win since the 2014 campaign. The victory, which snapped a 33-game losing streak, has earned Simon Fraser the selection for GNAC Team of the Week.

Saturday’s first quarter featured a variety of action as Ford’s team scored touchdowns via a one-yard run, a 60-yard interception return and a 38-yard reception. The offense found the end zone twice more in the second stanza to jump out to that 35-0 lead at the break.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Clan continued to stand tall and shut down the Bearcats. The visitors from Salem, Ore. managed just six first downs in the contest’s first 30 minutes.

“Defensively, we were sound in our assignments and did a great job rallying to the football,” said Ford. “On offense, we took care of the ball and did a good job of taking what the defense was giving us.”

The team continued to do just that in the second half, adding one more touchdown before a one-yard Willamette run made the score 41-7. With the outcome firmly in hand, the hosts added two more touchdowns in the game’s final 16 minutes to cap the 47-point victory.

“I thought our team prepared well and practiced hard and it showed on Saturday,” Ford said. “We made some plays and definitely got better. Now we’re excited to play a fast, physical and well-coached opponent in APU this week.”

Simon Fraser was led on offense by senior quarterback Miles Richardson, who completed 12 of 17 passes for 180 yards and three scores. His favorite target on this day was wide receiver Ethan Beselt. The sophomore finished the afternoon with seven receptions for 85 yards and one touchdown.

On special teams, freshman kicker Kees Metselaar made six extra points and punted twice for an average of 38.5 yards per punt. The efforts earned Metselaar GNAC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

The explosive start to the season has the Clan ranked inside the top five nationally in multiple categories, including the No. 1 ranking in turnover margin (4), a second-place standing in rushing defense (-9 yards per game) and a fourth-place rank in scoring offense (54 points per game).

Simon Fraser will look to continue its perfect start to the season as it hits the road for week two. The Clan return to the field on Saturday night, taking on Azusa Pacific in their GNAC opener.