Red Devils defeat ALA at home, 31-9
Crossover win gives Grand an unblemished 3-0 record
by Jeff Richards
The Times-Independent
Sep 07, 2017 | 792 views | 0 0 comments | 87 87 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Grand County High School senior Dakota Johnson (no. 6) takes off down the field after an interception against American Leadership Academy at home on Friday night.            	      Photo courtesy Shanea Yazzie
Grand County High School senior Dakota Johnson (no. 6) takes off down the field after an interception against American Leadership Academy at home on Friday night. Photo courtesy Shanea Yazzie

The Grand County High School football team defeated American Leadership Academy 31-9 in a 2A crossover contest played Friday, Sept. 1 at Jeff Meador Field.

Neither team scored during the opening quarter, but the Red Devils put their first points on the board with a 5-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Josh Jones on the very first play of the second quarter. Freshman kicker Dante Wells made the extra-point attempt to make it 7-0 for Grand.

The Red Devils intercepted the ball twice during the second quarter, with seniors Dakota Johnson and Brayden Schultz each picking off a pass. Just prior to Schultz’s pick, backed up deep in Grand’s own territory, he had punted the ball only as far as Grand’s own 27-yard-line, giving the ALA Eagles an advantageous field position. Two plays later, however, Schultz leaped up and got the ball back for the Red Devils.

Grand then marched the ball the length of the field on the ensuing drive, getting nice rushing gains from Chris Thompson and Jones. The drive culminated with a 17-yard TD run by Johnson on a double handoff play. Wells’ successful PAT kick put the Red Devils up 14-0 just before halftime.

ALA fumbled the ball away shortly after receiving the kickoff to start the third quarter and Grand capitalized shortly afterward with an 8-yard TD pass from Jones to fellow senior Nick Downard. After the PAT kick from Wells, the Red Devils owned a 21-0 lead early in the third.

Toward the end of the third quarter, however, Grand fumbled away the ball, and ALA was able to finally get on the scoreboard early in the fourth quarter with a 30-yard field goal by kicker Joseph Valle.

With 5:42 left in the fourth quarter, Johnson broke loose for another TD run, this one from 26 yards out, and Grand went ahead 28-3.

ALA got a nice boost on its next possession when sophomore receiver Jacob Negus caught a pass from quarterback Ethan Morley and ran it 73 yards before being brought down at the Grand 4-yard-line. Morley then found sophomore Hayden Shockley in the end zone for a 4-yard TD reception with 3:55 left in the game. ALA missed the ensuing PAT try, leaving the score at 28-9.

Grand managed to move the ball within field goal range on its last drive of the game, which culminated in a successful 41-yard field goal by Wells in the final seconds. Wells finished 4-for-4 on PAT attempts and 1-for-1 on FGs and he remains perfect for the season so far.

The Red Devils racked up 354 yards in offense, including 305 yards rushing. Johnson led the way with 133 yards on 14 carries, scoring two TDs. Jones added 72 yards on 18 carries and a TD, and completed 3-of-9 passes for 49 yards and a TD.

Grand’s defense held the Eagles to 88 yards rushing and 96 receiving, with Brayden Troutt leading the Red Devils with seven tackles.

Grand, which improved to 3-0 overall with the win over ALA, has one more crossover game left before regular 2A South division play starts. The Red Devils will take on the Millard Eagles at Fillmore on Friday, Sept. 8.

Millard is also 3-0 so far this season, coming off a 28-14 win at North Sevier last Friday.

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