After racking up three decisive wins at home as their 2013 season got under way, the Red Devils showed that they could also win on the road, despite falling behind 6-0 early in the game on a fake punt play that South Sevier converted into a 47-yard touchdown run by Ram quarterback Trevor Jones.
Red Devil quarterback Jacob Francis later answered with a touchdown run of his own during the first quarter, and also kicked the extra point to put Grand ahead 7-6. Francis added another rushing TD in the second quarter to give the Red Devils a 13-6 halftime lead.
Neither team scored in the third quarter. Grand added two more points on a safety in the fourth quarter on a bad hike by South Sevier that went into the end zone.
Late in the fourth quarter, Francis handed the ball to running back Koi Cook, who ran it into the end zone for the final touchdown of the contest. Francis added a two-point rushing conversion to bring the game’s final score to 23-6.
The contest was played in a drenching rainstorm on soggy grass that appeared to not have been mowed recently.
“It was hard to run, and too slick to throw,” said GCHS head coach Dennis Wells, noting that Francis was 0-for-3 in passing attempts.
Francis did make up for that on the ground, amassing 168 rushing yards on 23 carries. Cook added 39 yards rushing on eight carries and Cameron Taylor added 50 yards rushing on nine carries.
“It was good to get that first road game under us with a win,” Wells said.
Wells also pointed out that the Red Devils overcame numerous penalties throughout the game.
“The penalties really killed us, and took us out of our rhythm offensively,” he said. “It’s hard to make up yards when it’s first or second down and long and you can’t throw the ball.”
Grand improved its record to 4-0 overall with the victory, 2-0 in 2A South division play.
This week, the Red Devils will go on the road again to face the Beaver Beavers on Friday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m.
Beaver started its season off with a 3-0 record before losing a non-region game at South Summit last Friday. The Wildcats prevailed 37-6 in that contest, but coach Wells said he expects Beaver to be a tough matchup for the Red Devils this week.
“Beaver is a very good team,” Wells said, adding that the winner of the Grand vs. Beaver game could very well go on to take the region championship.
Including the upcoming game against Beaver, Grand has five regular-season games remaining, all against region opponents. Next week, on Sept. 27, the Red Devils will play Enterprise at Moab, followed by an Oct. 4 road game at Summit Academy in Bluffdale. That contest will be followed by a home game against Parowan on Oct. 11. Grand’s final game of the regular season will be against the San Juan Broncos at Blanding on Oct. 18.