Senior Koi Cook scored three of Grand’s seven touchdowns as the Red Devils went the entire game without punting. The Red Devils also held Carbon to just two yards rushing on 21 carries. The Dinos totaled 92 yards passing, including one touchdown, but managed only two first downs during the game.
Cook scored the first touchdown of the game for Grand early in the first quarter when he scooped up a teammate’s fumble and ran the ball 20 yards into the end zone. Kicker Jacob Francis, a senior and also the Red Devils’ starting quarterback, made the extra point to give Grand an early 7-0 lead.
On the Red Devils’ next possession, Francis threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to senior Layton Call. A few minutes later, Francis rushed for a 26-yard TD to give Grand a 21-0 lead before the end of the first quarter.
Grand scored two more touchdowns during the second quarter. A five-yard run by Cook and a five-yard run by senior Cameron Taylor gave the Red Devils a 35-0 halftime lead.
Carbon’s first possession of the second half resulted in a 41-yard touchdown pass up the middle from quarterback Jarod Lessar to receiver Zac Hathaway. Although that play broke the shutout, the Dinos weren’t able to score again for the rest of the game.
Cook scored another touchdown on a 10-yard run later in the third period to put Grand back up by 35 points, 42-7. That invoked the “mercy rule” during the fourth quarter, and the clock ran without stopping essentially the entire time until the game ended.
Grand’s reserve squad took the field in the game’s final minutes. Freshman Nolan Beeman broke loose for a 24-yard run, which he then followed on the next play with a three-yard touchdown to make it 48-7 with about a minute remaining. Francis missed the ensuing extra point kick, his only miss of the night in seven attempts.
Francis completed nine of 11 passes for 137 yards, and also rushed for 114 yards on 14 carries. Cook added 110 yards rushing on 11 carries. Taylor had 53 yards rushing on five carries, and also caught four passes for another 49 yards.
Cook also led a balanced defensive effort, making five tackles. A total of 19 players had at least one tackle for Grand and two players – Austin Day and Jasen Christensen – each recorded a quarterback sack.
The game began with a moment of silence in remembrance of Red Devil lineman Sam Woodruff, a 15-year-old sophomore who passed away of unknown causes on Aug. 10. Stickers bearing Woodruff’s uniform number 62 adorn Grand’s helmets this year, and several players also wrote Woodruff’s name or number on their wrist tape and other equipment.
Meanwhile, donations have continued to pour in to Woodruff’s family to help cover funeral and burial costs, including a $2,500 check from South Summit High School, an unexpected act of generosity that stunned Grand County’s coaches and officials.
“It was a real empathetic gesture on their part,” GCHS assistant coach and athletic director Ron Dolphin told the Deseret News on Monday. “It made me feel good that people care in this state.”
GCHS head coach Dennis Wells said that even though he was pleased with his team’s effort against Carbon, the Red Devils’ upcoming game against Emery, also at Moab, will be a truer test.
“We will have a better idea where we are after the Emery game,” Wells said.
The contest is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30.
“We should be ready for them because we owe them for last year,” Wells added, referring to Grand’s 41-7 loss at Emery on Aug. 24, 2012. “We should be focused this week.”