Red Devils football season ends in playoff loss to Manti

Coach Dennis Wells learns on a couple of players after concluding his 30th season at the helm of the Red Devils football program. Photo by Kammy Wells

This story has been changed to reflect player Clynn Backus was incorrectly identified.

The Grand County Red Devils football team lost 14-35 to the Manti Templars in the first round of 3A state playoffs on Friday, Oct. 25, at Manti High School.

The Red Devils put points on the board first and started the drive at their own 16-yard line. Grand County ate up nearly eight minutes of clock time and picked up six first downs on the way to the red zone.

Senior quarterback Bryant Troutt had an unopposed two-yard run for the touchdown, and Dylan Harrison slammed the ball through the uprights to put Grand up 7-0 at the tail end of the first quarter.

Grand’s defense was perfectly on point in the first quarter. Clynn Backus and Brayden Troutt had a few noteworthy blocks and stops. Trea Meyer recovered a fumble and put the Red Devils in excellent field position.

QB Troutt was picked off in the first frame, but otherwise Grand County played the game they like with slow, steady, time-chewing offensive progress.

Manti worked on their passing game in the second quarter and the Red Devils just could not stop the aerial assault. Templars’ quarterback Jax Perry tossed a three-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter. Perry launched a 79-yard pass and scored another touchdown in the middle of the second quarter. The Templars had momentum and Manti was using the clock efficiently, but the Red Devils were only down 7-14 at halftime.

The wheels came off in the second half. At about the 7:30 mark in the third, Perry aired out a 25-yard pass for a touchdown, and less than four minutes later, Perry picked up another passing touchdown. Manti had their first rushing touchdown for the evening in the top half of the fourth quarter and enjoyed a 35-7 lead.

Joey Cloud was wide open and caught a 69-yard precision lob from Troutt for a touchdown at the midpoint of the fourth quarter for the Red Devils, but it was not enough to alter the outcome.

Overall, for the regular and postseason, the Red Devils finished with a 5-6 record and 3-2 in the region. Grand County lost 11 players to graduation last May and the Red Devils will lose 11 more next spring when Carlin Bierschied, Tyler Morey, Trea Meyer, Zachary Cook, Kayden Tranter, Tayson Wilson, Clynn Backus, Brayden Troutt, Bryant Troutt, Morgan Alvey and Joey Cloud are scheduled to graduate.