Quarterback Koi Cook threw three touchdown passes and rushed for another as the Red Devils racked up a season-high 255 yards passing. Cook completed 10 of 16 passes to reach that mark, thus averaging an impressive 25.5 yards per completion.
Grand’s first two touchdowns in the first quarter both came on long pass plays, with Dalton McElhaney scoring the first TD on a 56-yard reception, and Tanner White scoring on a 35-yard play two possessions later. Grand missed the point-after kick after the first TD, but Ronnie Dolphin ran the ball in for the two-point conversion after the second TD to give Grand an early 14-0 lead.
Parowan, which had already missed one field goal at that point, then scored a TD on its next possession, with Jake Topham breaking loose for a 17-yard rushing score. Cody Hartlmaier’s kick was good, bringing the Rams to within 14-7 as the first quarter ended.
Cameron Taylor scored Grand’s third TD on a five-yard run early in the second quarter, and Cook ran in the two-point conversion attempt as the Red Devils took a 22-7 lead. Dolphin made an interception midway through the period, but had to leave the game due to an injury he suffered on the play.
Grand managed to drive the length of the field in the final minute of the second quarter, thanks to a long pass from Cook to Tanner White, which White advanced to the Parowan 15-yard line. Cook then completed a nine-yard pass to Wade Kemmsies, who was brought down at the six-yard line with only 8 seconds left in the half. After a time out, Cook found Kemmsies again with a pass, this one at the back of the end zone. Kemmsies, a senior, snagged the ball and scored the first-ever touchdown of his high school career. Koby Sobremesana kicked the extra point to give Grand a 29-7 halftime lead.
Grand scored two more TDs in the third quarter, with Taylor and Cook each making a one-yard run to make the score 43-7. The mercy rule then went into effect, making the clock run without stopping except for time outs.
Parowan did get one more score late in the fourth quarter on a 67-yard pass from Caleb Murphy to Justice Walker, accounting for the final 43-14 margin.
Prior to the game, a special tribute was made in honor of Sam Woodruff, the GCHS sophomore who passed away before the season began. Woodruff’s No. 62 jersey was brought to the field by helicopter and put on display during the game. Former GCHS player Kerby Smith, a member of the Red Devils’ state championship team in 2005, rode in the helicopter and carried Woodruff’s framed jersey onto the field.
This week, on Thursday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m., the Red Devils head to Blanding to face the San Juan Broncos in the final regular-season contest for both teams. The game will determine the second and third place finishers in the 2A South division, with No. 1 Beaver having already beaten both Grand and San Juan.
“We need to win at San Juan,” said coach Wells. “The second-place team [in the 2A South] will have a bye the first week and be on the opposite side of South Summit. If we lose, we would likely have to travel to South Summit for a quarterfinal game.”
South Summit, the previously undefeated No. 1 team in the 2A North division, lost on Oct. 11 to North Summit, creating a three-way tie for first place in that division. South Summit plays Millard at Millard on Thursday, Oct. 17.
“We’re going to have to play better defense this week,” added Wells. “San Juan has their act together, and they’re always tough to beat at home.”