Montezuma-Cortez players swarmed around Red Devil sophomore Trent Elmore (holding ball) during Grand's home game on Friday, Aug. 26. Elmore rushed nine times for 51 yards, while also handling Grand's place-kicking duties, and booted a 25-yard field goal early in the first quarter after a Montezuma-Cortez turnover. [Photo courtesy of Shanea Yazzie]

Dakota Johnson got in on all the action in the Grand County High School football team’s home opener versus Montezuma-Cortez, Colorado, on Friday, Aug. 26, as he scored touchdowns on both sides of the ball – and also played a little quarterback – during the Red Devils’ 30-14 victory.

The Red Devils improve to 2-0 in non-region play with the victory. Prior to the game, Grand honored the late Kayden Cresswell, a former Red Devil football player who died in an automobile accident in late February and would have been a senior this season. The Red Devils also honored former player and assistant coach Mike Bynum, retiring his No. 12 jersey.

Johnson’s night took off just before halftime as Grand expected to hit the locker rooms up 10-6, but Montezuma-Cortez called a timeout with less than a second remaining for one final play. Johnson lined up as a safety in prevent defense, and intercepted a deep pass, running it back 65 yards for a touchdown, and just like that, Grand was up 17-6 at intermission. Johnson added another interception in the third quarter, then contributed offensively with a 65-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Johnson played quarterback late in the game after freshman Bryant Troutt got banged up. Senior Taylor Horton, Grand’s regular starting quarterback, played sparingly as he is still recovering from a knee injury sustained at Monticello on Aug. 19. Troutt finished with 121 yards and a touchdown on 19 rushing attempts, while Johnson had 102 yards and a score on 14 carries. Sophomore Trent Elmore rushed nine times for 51 yards, while also handling Grand’s place-kicking duties.

Elmore booted a 25-yard field goal early in the first quarter after a Montezuma-Cortez turnover, a week after Grand football coach Dennis Wells said he regretted not kicking field goals.

“We took advantage of a fumble on the opening kickoff of the game,” he said. “I’m a little disappointed that we had to settle for a field goal, but I regretted it last week when we went for it on offense instead of taking the three points.”

After a defensive stop, Troutt and senior Kenyon Birdwell connected on a 49-yard pass to extend Grand’s lead to 10-0. Troutt scored again on a 46-yard run in the third quarter.

Wells said he expects both Horton and Troutt to play on Friday, Sept. 2, at American Leadership Academy, although Horton will be in a knee brace. Junior Josh Jones, another Red Devil player with varsity quarterback experience, should make his season debut this week after an injury in the preseason. Grand, however, will be without juniors Nick Downard and Brayden Schultz because of injuries.

The Red Devils defeated ALA 28-14 in Moab in 2015, but Wells said it will be Grand’s toughest opponent so far in the young season.

“They’re definitely the best team we’ve played all year,” Wells said of ALA. “Full strength, I’d really like our chances. Even now we still have a chance.”

Grand’s non-region game versus the Eagles is scheduled to take place on Friday, Sept. 2, at 7 p.m. in Spanish Fork.

Johnson shines on both sides of the ball for Red Devils