The Grand County High School (GCHS) football team gave up a late touchdown after three shutout quarters versus South Summit in Moab on Friday, Sept. 6, falling to the Wildcats 7-6.
The game was a hard fought, defensive struggle throughout with neither team able to sustain success on offense. GCHS was only able to muster three field goal attempts, two of which were successful, from junior Dante Wells, a 35-yarder in the second quarter and a 43-yarder in the third, with the miss being a 38-yard attempt in the second quarter.
All three attempts were set up by long passing plays as quarterback Bryant Troutt completed only four of his 11 pass attempts, but they went for 162 yards, an average of more than 40 yards a completion.
Troutt also led the Red Devils in rushing with 81 yards on 18 carries. The rest of the team amassed only two yards on 16 carries. South Summit's offense was just as unsuccessful against the GCHS defense most of the game, but one big play, a 46-yard pass for a touchdown with 8:25 remaining, followed by a point-after touchdown, was all the Wildcats needed for the 7-6 win.
In the loss, Brayden Troutt led the Red Devils with 18 tackles, while Morgan Alvey added eight. GCHS had fumble recoveries by Clynn Backus and Brayden Troutt, and sacks from Bryant Troutt, Tayson Wilson and Carlin Bierschied.
“We did a good job of shutting them down,” GCHS football coach Dennis Wells said. “In the third quarter they got going a little bit, then we were able to stop them again, but one big play was all it took.”
Wells took the blame for some of the Red Devils' offensive woes, saying he didn't make the right adjustments.
“I keep assuming our offensive line is where it was last year, but looking at the film, we have a lot to work on,” he said, adding that his play-calling and blocking schemes were too repetitive. “I need to help them out so we're not so predictable.”
The Red Devils play the final non-region game on their schedule this week in Mt. Pleasant versus the North Sanpete Hawks. The Hawks are the No. 2-ranked team in 3A, boasting a 4-0 record with their most recent win coming 21-14 over Richfield.
GCHS will be short-handed against North Sanpete as both Bryant and Brayden Troutt, as well as junior Truan Young, will sit out the game for disciplinary reasons, and Backus is questionable after suffering a concussion versus South Summit. Dante Wells will get the nod at quarterback for the Red Devils.
“Dante is a better thrower so we might be throwing a lot more, especially being short at tailback because Dante is normally the starting tailback, and Brayden Troutt is his backup and Truan is the other backup,” he said.
Coach Wells said GCHS's goal for the week is to keep improving.
“We're just trying to grow,” he said. “We're going to work on ourselves and try to get a little better going into region play with homecoming next week.”