Beaver and Grand both finished the regular season with 5-2 region records, as did the Richfield Wildcats. All three schools had already lost once to undefeated division champion San Juan, and each had also lost a game to one of the other two second-place teams.
Knowing the Red Devils could use all the help and luck they could get, Wells called his wife Kammy, who was on her way home from the game, to see if she would get his so-called “lucky quarter” and bring it back to the school for the tiebreaking coin toss.
According to Coach Wells, the same coin, a regular-looking 1986 25-cent piece, was used to secure favorable playoff seeds for the Red Devils on two previous occasions: in 2005, the year the Red Devils ended up winning the state championship, and again in 2007. Kammy Wells said her mother Pat Holyoak had originally found the coin in the parking lot when the Red Devils played Gunnison back in 2005.
Grand and Beaver coaches and athletic officials gathered in the GCHS main office for the coin flip late Friday night, with Richfield officials also participating by phone following the Wildcats’ 35-20 victory at South Sevier.
Kammy Wells said she rushed back to the school and gave the coin to her husband just in time for the tiebreaker.
“Beaver’s athletic director flipped at the same time I did,” Dennis Wells said. “Beaver’s coin was tails and our coin was heads. Richfield was on the phone and announced that they had tails. I immediately knew that we had won the flip – the odd coin wins. The other two teams go by their head-to-head record, and since Richfield had beaten Beaver they got third while Beaver got fourth.”
“I kind of felt bad for Beaver, because they’d just whipped us and ended up fourth place,” Kammy Wells said. “Dennis said he apologized, but the Beaver coach was cool and said that’s the way it goes.”
The lucky quarter, now a perfect 3-for-3 in deciding favorable playoff seeds for GCHS football, has since been returned to its special storage place for safekeeping, Dennis Wells said.
Grand’s No. 2 seed means the Red Devils will enjoy a bye week this week, while Beaver and Richfield will host opening-round games against lower-seeded schools from the 2A North division. Richfield plays North Summit on Thursday, Oct. 18 at 1 p.m., while Beaver plays Gunnison at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19. Grand will then play the winner of this week’s contest between Millard and South Sevier next Saturday, Oct. 27, at Moab, with game time yet to be determined.