When a football team gets to the mid-season mark with an undefeated record there can be two kinds of atrophy that set in — overconfidence in yourself and underestimation of your opponents.
While many Red Devil fans could be heard making a collective gasp last Friday night, when the South Sevier Rams scored a rushing touchdown on a two-play drive just two minutes into their homecoming game in Monroe, some might have wondered if the Devils’ lucky number was finally up.
Luckily for Grand County, neither of those atrophies was present; the Red Devils collected themselves and proceeded to roll to a 21-7 region win over the Rams and improved to 5-0 (1-0) on the season.
The game, which was arguably the biggest test of the season so far for head coach Dennis Wells’ squad, showcased a whole lot of offense and even more defense — especially in the second half — as the Devils led the Rams 14-7 headed into the halftime break.
The win for Grand County came after the Rams scored first on a two-play drive in the first two minutes of the game. The Red Devils’ defense swarmed, however, after that initial score and saw the Grand County offense put three touchdowns on the board, including a rushing TD by Dakota Johnson (55 yards rushing, with 46 in the second half) and a 25-yard run by Bryant Troutt after a blocked punt by Chris Thompson.
Josh Jones, who led the Red Devils with 74 rushing yards, had a 4-yard rushing touchdown in the win. He also had 53 yards passing with two interceptions. Thompson had three receptions from Jones for 27 yards.
On defense, junior Jarett Reidhead led the Red Devils with five solo tackles — though senior Jared Smith led the team overall with three solos and seven assists for 10 stops against the Rams. Thompson also racked up a bunch of tackles, making six assists on seven stops.
And when Johnson wasn’t making plays on offense, he was making them on defense; he tallied up a sack against the Rams’ quarterback and assisted on three tackles.
The Red Devils are now 1-0 in Region 2A South play. This Friday night they will face the North Sevier Wolves (4-1, 1-0) during Grand County’s homecoming game. The Wolves’ only loss so far this season came at the hands of Millard — a team Grand County beat handily two weeks ago in Fillmore.
The Wolves have relied heavily in recent weeks on their air game. That’s a bonus for Wells, who said it would allow his team to shut down the North Sevier offense on two fronts.
“We need to put a lot of pressure on their quarterback and the zone lanes, we have to not give them a lot of time to put that ball in the air,” Wells said. “We’re also going to work to shut the run game down. With pressure up front, to stop the run, we’ll make them go to the air and make them become one-dimensional. When you get a team to go one-dimensional, it helps you know what they are going to do and you can apply pressure on them in that way.”
Kickoff against North Sevier is set for 7 p.m. at Jeff Meador Stadium.