The Grand County High School football team logged its second convincing win — in as many weeks — after picking up a 57-0 shutout victory at Montezuma-Cortez High School in Cortez, Colorado on Friday, Aug. 25.
Despite the win, Grand County head coach Dennis Wells said the Red Devils got off to a bit of a slow start against the Panthers.
“They came out fired up, and made us punt the first two times we had the ball,” Wells said. “We had to mix it up with passes and misdirection.”
The Red Devils soon found their groove, however, and ended up not ever needing to punt again. Senior quarterback Josh Jones threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to fellow senior Nick Downard midway through the first quarter. Freshman kicker Dante Wells added the point-after kick to make it 7-0. Later in the first quarter, senior running back Dakota Johnson rushed for a 26-yard TD. Not long after that, junior tight end Jarett Reidhead caught a pass up the middle from Jones and broke loose for a 72-yard TD reception, aided by a timely block from Johnson. Dante Wells, who finished a perfect 7-for-7 in PAT attempts during the game, nailed both kicks to give the Red Devils a 21-0 lead after one quarter.
Grand added two more touchdowns during the second quarter, as Jones and sophomore Bryant Troutt each scored on short runs.
Early in the third quarter, Cortez hiked the ball over its punter’s head and out of the end zone, giving Grand a two-point safety. Downard later caught a 13-yard scoring pass from Troutt to put the Red Devils up 44-0 heading into the fourth quarter.
During the final minutes of the game, Troutt scored on a 16-yard run, and junior Trent Elmore added a 50-yard run at the end of the game. The final extra-point attempt was mishandled before Wells could kick it, so the final score stood at 57-0.
“Our defense again set the tone,” Wells said. “We held them to negative 19 total yards. Meanwhile, our offense had more than 400 yards and eight touchdowns.”
Johnson was Grand’s leading rusher with 90 yards on the ground. Jones completed 4-of-6 passes for 128 yards and ran for another 50 yards. Defensively, sophomore Brayden Cloud led the team with six solo tackles, and Johnson and junior Chris Thompson each had a sack.
The next game for Grand (2-0) is against the 2A North division’s American Leadership Academy (1-1) at Moab on Friday, Sept. 1, at 7 p.m. American Leadership Academy is coming off a 17-10 home win over Layton Christian last week.
“It’s going to get tougher for us with ALA next week,” Wells said. “They are big and physical. It will be a big test for us.”