The Red Devil offense huddles up during Grand's 28-21 loss to Beaver on Friday, Sept. 19 in Moab. [Photo by Tim Chappell / Moab Sun News]

The Grand County Red Devils football team turned the ball over frequently in the first quarter and had to play from behind throughout the game, falling 28-21 to Beaver on Friday, Sept. 19 in Moab. The loss drops the Red Devils to 1-4, 1-2 in 2A South play.

Grand found itself down 21-7 after the first play of the second quarter as Beaver took advantage of three interceptions in the first quarter. Beaver quarterback Matthew Roberts opened the scoring with a 35-yard touchdown run to go up 6-0, and connected later in the quarter on a 28-yard touchdown pass to Brennon Hutchings. Roberts connected with Branston Blackburn, who got wide open behind the Red Devil defense as all eyes were locked in the backfield, on the first play of the second quarter, putting Beaver up 21-7; White scored on a 29-yard run in the first quarter to put the Red Devils on the board.

“We gave them three quick turnovers and they took advantage,” Red Devil football coach Dennis Wells said. “They dropped linebackers into some of our passing lanes and were able to make some plays.”

Grand fought back following Beaver’s third early touchdown, methodically moving down the field and converting four first downs before capping off the drive with a 2-yard run by senior Koby Sobremesana to pull within a touchdown at 21-14.

The Beavers extended the lead back to two scores at 28-14 on the next drive, benefitting from two controversial calls, converting on fourth down with a pass play in which the receiver appeared to catch the ball out of bounds, then scoring three plays later on a pass play in which the receiver appeared to drop the ball when he hit the ground.

After forcing a Beaver three-and-out to begin the second half, the Red Devils pulled back within one score at 28-21, moving the ball down the field with the running game before White found junior Brendan Bennett on a 12-yard touchdown pass.

The Red Devil defense continued to play a strong second half, forcing Beaver to punt on its next three drives before the Grand offense put together a drive late in the fourth quarter in an attempt to tie the game. Using a mix of run and pass, the Red Devils marched from their own 28-yard-line to the Beaver 11-yard line before White was tackled for a 5-yard loss on third-and-3 and his pass was inches too high for Sobremesana on fourth-and-8.

“Our line blocked well,” Senior lineman Jasen Christensen said. “We just need to hold our blocks a little longer; complete our passes.”

Beaver converted three first downs on the following drive and were able to run out the clock. The Beavers fumbled the ball twice, but recovered it both times. Junior lineman Brandon Secrest suffered an ankle injury on the second play of the drive and sat out the rest of the game.

Wells said he was amazed at how well the Red Devils played in the second half, considering how many of them play on both offense and defense.

“I’m proud of the team,” he said. “We have some fighters out there who are working their butts off.”

The Red Devils are scheduled to play at Enterprise on Friday, Sept. 26. The Wolves are 4-1, 2-0 in 2A South. They’ve held their opponent scoreless in each of their four victories: 32-0 against Diamond Ranch; 33-0 against Milford; 42-0 against Parowan; and 48-0 against South Sevier.

Wells said if the Red Devils play all four quarters against Enterprise the way they played in the second half against South Sevier and Beaver, they’ll be successful.

“We’ve got to come out with eveyone covering their guy,” Wells said. “Enterprise is a decent team, but I like our gameplan.”

Christensen said the Red Devils have to come out fired up and maintain their intensity throughout the game.

“We need to step up and play ball,” he said. “Come out yelling and screaming; keep fired up, coming out and hitting every play.”

We need to step up and play ball. Come out yelling and screaming; keep fired up, coming out and hitting every play.

Beavers capitalize on early turnovers to thwart Red Devils