The Red Devil football team put on a show for a rowdy homecoming crowd on Sept. 14, defeating South Sevier 34-14. The Grand County High School gridders played stifling defense, forcing four turnovers on the way to a big victory over their region opponent.
A whiteout audience packed the stands as the Red Devils took the field. Grand had the first possession of the game and got right to work moving down the field. Junior quarterback Bryant Troutt capped the drive with a 15-yard touchdown run. The snap for the extra point kick was mishandled, leaving Grand with a 6-0 lead.
On their opening possession, the South Sevier Rams were faced with third and long. Junior Trae Meyer tore into the backfield for a strip sack, forcing a fumble that was recovered by senior Jarett Reidhead on the Rams’ 35-yard line.
Grand’s offense used the good field position to build up the lead. A couple solid carries from senior Trent Elmore combined with a facemask penalty on South Sevier to bring Grand inside the five-yard line. Troutt recorded his second score of the night, punching through South Sevier’s goal line defense for a two-yard touchdown run. Sophomore Dante Wells tacked on the extra point, putting the Red Devils up by 13 points.
South Sevier was unable to get anything going on the next possession, punting the ball back to Grand after going three and out. The Red Devils started around midfield for their drive. However, the Ram defense had adjusted and made yards harder to come by. Troutt was able to keep the chains moving by bashing up the middle for six yards on fourth and two, but the offense stalled on the next set of downs when a pass to senior Stacy Randall was broken up on third and long. The punt from Wells pinned the Rams on their own ten-yard line just as the second quarter was getting underway.
Backed against their own end zone and confronted with third down, the Rams dropped back to pass. Senior Andrew Hansen was ready and picked off the pass, giving Grand the ball on the doorstep of South Sevier’s end zone.
Despite a holding call on the first play of the drive, Grand made quick work of the short field. Troutt completed a pass to senior fullback Chris Thompson for a short gain, then the following play Troutt ran about 15 yards to bring Grand to the three-yard line. Elmore smashed forward and was stopped just short of goal. With a good push from the offensive line, Troutt was able to bust into the end zone for his third touchdown. Wells added the extra point to put the Red Devils up 20-0 over the Rams.
The Red Devil rushing defense continued to shut down the Rams’ ground game, forcing another punt after only three plays. Wells took some snaps on Grand’s next drive. A pass from Wells was tipped by South Sevier, but junior Joey Cloud made the catch anyway. On the next play, a Ram defender got more than just a finger tip on the ball and picked off the pass from Wells.
The turnover didn’t make much of a difference for South Sevier’s offense, which continued to struggle to move down the field. After two runs were stopped for short gains, yellow flags dotted the field. Frustrations boiled over and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties were called on both teams, resulting in no change in field position. The Rams dropped a pass on third down, forcing yet another punt.
Elmore, Bryant and Brayden Troutt all had positive carries to bring Grand back into the red zone. From the two-yard line, Bryant Troutt dove for the goal, flipping into the end zone for his fourth score of the game. Only about 30 seconds remained in the half when Wells drilled the extra point to bring the lead up to 27.
It seemed as if the Rams would go into the locker room scoreless, but a hectic back-and-forth play ended the first half with some excitement. Eager to get on the scoreboard, South Sevier came out throwing. Grand’s coverage was tight and senior Bailey Shelton intercepted a pass. Things looked good for the Red Devils as Shelton ran down the field, but when Tucker Gayler went in for the tackle he ripped the ball away. After the second change of possession, Gayler had a clear path to the end zone. Time expired in the first half as the Rams finally put points on the board. The extra point brought the score to 27-7.
The extended halftime break was filled with entertaining performances. First, the homecoming royalty was presented. Freshman attendant Lainey Bohannon led the way, followed by sophomore Jenny Kopell, junior AJ Bolos and senior Joopy Bamrungmuang. King Brody Williams and Queen Hailey Cox crowned the glamorous procession. Next, the marching band and color guard livened up the crowd with a rendition of “Party Rock Anthem.” Then the cheer squad and drill team each gave energetic performances during their dance routines.
Grand kicked off to South Sevier to begin the third quarter. The Red Devil defense remained relentless. Wells came up with a big tackle for a loss and then Hansen broke up a pass on third down, forcing a punt after three plays.
The Red Devils started their first drive of the half already inside Ram territory. Alternating runs by Troutt and Elmore brought Grand back to the goal line. Elmore finished the drive by charging forward for a two-yard touchdown carry. The point after kick took the score up to 34-7 in Grand’s favor.
A couple dropped passes had the Rams giving their punter even more practice on the next drive. The following possession Grand was unable to convert on fourth down, surrendering the ball to South Sevier near midfield. A big run with a facemask penalty tacked on gave the Rams their first trip to the red zone of the game. South Sevier quarterback Tracen Winkle slipped a pass through the defense for a touchdown. After the extra point, Grand held a 20-point advantage with less than three minutes in the third quarter.
A good return from Cloud gave Grand the ball at the 34-yard line. A shovel pass to Meyer, a pitch to Elmore, and a few solid carries from Troutt pushed the Red Devils onto the Ram’s side of the field as the third quarter expired. Faced with fourth down and five, Grand decided to go for it. Troutt completed a pass to Wells to move the chains. The next set of downs, an incomplete pass left the Red Devils facing fourth and nine at the South Sevier 31-yard line. Again, Grand went for it. A pass from Troutt to Elmore got the first down, taking Grand inside the 20.
Grand threatened to pile on more points, but a block in the back penalty pushed the Red Devils back outside the red zone. Troutt completed another pass to Elmore for a nine-yard gain, but that still left them with third and ten to go. Troutt then completed a pass to his brother, who dove over the goal line. Celebration was cut short when a number of flags appeared on the field. A holding call on Elmore canceled the score and when the quarterback argued the call, he was tagged with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that pushed the ball all the way back to midfield. With third down and a mile to go for the first, Troutt threw a bomb downfield. The pass was picked off and then subsequently fumbled, but a pass interference call on the defense negated the play. The penalty on the Rams gave Grand an automatic first down. After the series of penalties, Grand’s momentum was thrown off and the offense ended up punting after running the clock down to 2:42.
The Rams tore off a couple big runs in a desperate attempt to make the score a bit closer, but Shelton dashed those hopes when he picked off his second pass of the night. Less than ten seconds remained, so Grand went into victory formation and took a kneel to seal the win with a final score of 34-14.
Bryant Troutt led the Red Devils in rushing, piling up 142 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries while also adding 73 yards through the air. In addition to his touchdown, Elmore racked up 44 yards on 12 carries and 25 yards on two catches. On the defensive side, seniors Austin Johnson and Jarett Reidhead led the team in tackles with six apiece.
Winning over South Sevier was a good start for the Red Devils in region play and brought their overall record to 3-2. The Rams’ record drops to 3-2 following the loss. After enjoying the support of a loud hometown crowd, Grand will hit the road for the next two games. On Friday, Sept. 21, the football team will head to Salina for a showdown with North Sevier. The following Friday, Sept. 28, Grand will face Enterprise. The Red Devils will be back at home for the game against Beaver on Oct. 5.