The Grand County High School (GCHS) Red Devil football team won its homecoming game, which doubled as its region opener, defeating the Emery Spartans 33-6 in Moab on Friday, Sept. 20.
The Red Devil defense stood tall most of the night, holding the Spartans to minus-11 rushing yards, and less than a 40-percent pass completion rate while forcing five turnovers – four interceptions and a fumble recovery. The Spartans completed only 11 of their 32 passing attempts.
The Red Devil defense got interceptions from Brayden Troutt, Ryelan Jones, Chance Arbon and newcomer Tyler Morey, who also added the fumble recovery after Jones popped the ball free from a Spartan defender in the first half.
On the offense, the Red Devils gave the Spartans the traditional heavy dose of rushing with a pass sprinkled in periodically. Bryant Troutt ran 27 times for 186 yards, while Brayden Troutt ran 13 times for 71 yards. The twins (Bryant with four touchdowns and Brayden with one touchdown) accounted for all five GCHS touchdowns. Although GCHS had about 60 plays to about 45 for the Spartans, they more than double Emery in penalties, losing 130 yards via flags.
“The defense played pretty good,” GCHS football coach Dennis Wells said. “We were able to stop the running game. We knew by their tendencies they were going to run every single first down, and we were able to stop them... we've got a lot to work on, but this is a good step forward.”
The Red Devils (3-3, 1-0 Region 12) next face San Juan in Blanding on Friday, Sept. 27. The Broncos are having a strong season, starting 4-2, 1-0 in Region 12 following a 70-28 shellacking of South Sevier in Monroe.
“San Juan has given up a lot of points defensively, but their offense is tough to stop,” Wells said. “It'll be a fun challenge.
For the Red Devils to be successful in Blanding, they need to stay healthy and keep creating turnovers, Wells said. Against Emery, junior Chasee Croasmun was the lone significant injury, suffering a sprained wrist in the first half. Arbon, who's been playing with a cast, should be at full strength versus San Juan.
“The San Juan game will be the first time in a few years that they'll be favored to beat us,” Wells said. “It's fun going down there as the underdog. I'm looking forward to it.”