The San Juan Broncos retained their No. 3 ranking in the 2A classification from the Deseret News after holding Grand County scoreless for three quarters en route to a 35-7 victory on Friday, Sept. 25, in Blanding. It was the Broncos’ homecoming game.

The Broncos (4-2, 2-0 2A South) scored two touchdowns in the opening quarter, the first of which came on an 80-yard punt return by Nathan Nielson. Later in the quarter, Kavika Su’esu’e scored on a 28-yard run to put San Juan up 14-0. In the second quarter, Bronco senior quarterback Payton Palmer connected with Max Slavens on a 33-yard touchdown pass to put the home team up 21-0 going into the long halftime break. The Broncos extended their lead to 28-0 in the third quarter on a 10-yard run from Su’esu’e.

The Red Devils (3-3, 1-1) finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter on a 6-yard run by senior Dalton McElhaney. San Juan answered the score with a 44-yard pass from Palmer to Bronz Eldredge for the final score. McElhaney finished with 121 rushing yards on 30 rushing attempts. He also went 9-of-18 passing for 95 yards. McElhaney’s 12 overall rushing touchdowns is tied for the 2A state lead, while his 705 rushing yards ranks second.

Defensively, senior Seth Holyoak finished with nine tackles to lead the team. He has 67 tackles overall, which ranks second in 2A.

The Red Devils dropped out of the top five in the Deseret News 2A rankings with the loss. They are next scheduled to play at Beaver on Friday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. The Beavers (5-1, 2-0) are ranked No. 2 in 2A following a 47-6 victory over South Sevier on Friday, Sept. 25. The Beavers have defeated Grand in each of the past four seasons, winning in blowout fashion in 2011 and 2012 and grinding out a 12-7 win in Beaver in 2013 and a 28-21 win in Moab in 2014. The Beavers’ only loss this season was their 44-28 season-opening loss to 3A Canyon View on Aug. 21.

Red Devils stymied by Broncos in Blanding