The Grand County High School football team passed its toughest test yet to this point of the season as they beat South Sevier 21-7 in Monroe on Friday, Sept. 15. It was the Rams’ homecoming game and the 2A South region opener for both teams.

Grand had to work harder to achieve success offensively, scoring a season-low 21 points. The Red Devils also trailed for the first time this season as the Rams used a 40-yard pass on a blown defensive assignment in the first quarter to go up 7-0. After falling behind, the Red Devils responded immediately, taking advantage of a pair of personal foul penalties against the Rams’ defense to punch in a 10-yard Dakota Johnson touchdown run to even the score at 7-7 before the end of the first quarter.

Grand made a big play in special teams, the second play of the second quarter, as Chris Thompson blocked a South Sevier punt and Bryant Troutt scooped it up, then sprinted 25 yards for a score to put Grand up 14-7.

Neither team scored again until the middle of the third quarter where after Grand forced a South Sevier 3-and-out to begin the half, the Red Devils steadily moved the ball down the field with the running game, culminating in a 4-yard Josh Jones touchdown run for the game’s final score of 21-7.

Both teams played strong defense as the Red Devils shut the Rams out the rest of the game following the early mishap. After big defensive plays, the Red Devils would take chances on offense, resulting in a pair of interceptions thrown by Jones on deep passing attempts. The Red Devils also snatched a pair of interceptions, both by Kayden Robertson, and also shut-down powerhouse Tyson Chisholm, holding him to 44 yards on 15 carries. Chisholm had a strong game defensively, however, recording a game-high 17 tackles.

For the Red Devils, Jones led the way rushing with 74 yards on 15 carries. Johnson had 61 yards on 13 carries; and Brayden Schultz, the focus of the Rams’ defense, gained 60 yards on 12 carries. Jones was 6-of-14 passing for 48 yards. Schultz caught three of those passes for 26 yards, while Thompson caught the other 3 for 22 yards. In the kicking game, Dante Wells made all three of his point-after attempts, but missed a field goal in the second half that would have extended Grand’s lead.

Defensively for the Red Devils, Jared Smith had 10 tackles, while Brayden Troutt had nine and Thompson, Gage Hansen and Nick Downard had seven. Johnson recorded the Red Devils’ lone sack of the evening.

With the victory, the Red Devils improved to 5-0, 1-0 in 2A South play, and stayed put at No. 4 in the Deseret News rankings, behind South Summit, Beaver and Delta. Grand is scheduled to play North Sevier (4-1, 1-0) in Moab on Friday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m., in the Red Devils’ homecoming game. North Sevier’s only loss was a 28-14 loss to No. 5 Millard on Sept. 1. The wolves defeated Enterprise 10-0 in their region opener on Sept.15. In 2016, Grand defeated the Rams 20-7.

Red Devils win region opener, remain undefeated heading into own homecoming

What: Grand County High School homecoming football game versus North Sevier

When: Friday, Sept. 22, 7 p.m.

Where: Grand County High School football field, 608 S. 400 East