The Grand County High School football team fell to Millard 20-19 in it’s final non-region action of the regular season after failing to convert a two-point conversion while down one point.
The Eagles played opportunistic defense against the Red Devils, jumping in front of three Grand passes for interceptions. Penalties against the Red Devils and timely stops by the Millard defense also aided in lowering Grand’s scoring potential.
The Red Devils’ first two drives both ended in interceptions. With the Red Devils marching near the end zone following a play where senior Corbin Arbon scurried for 12 yards and nearly scored a rushing touchdown, but appeared to run out of bounds, a pass in the flat from junior Bryant Troutt to senior Chris Thompson was intercepted. After the Red Devils forced a punt to get the ball back, Troutt floated a fourth-down pass over the middle toward junior Brayden Cloud, but it was also snatched by the Eagles, who this time capitalized on the offering with a touchdown catch by Austin Burraston after sophomore Dante Wells stumbled in his coverage. A bad snap led to an improvised two-point conversion, putting Millard up 8-0.
The Red Devils answered back on their next drive, steadily advancing down the field and scoring on a 1-yard Troutt run, and a Wells point-after-touchdown to cut the deficit to 8-7.
After trading stalemates back and forth for much of the second quarter, the Eagles took advantage of a size mismatch as Kael Myers caught a 13-yard touchdown pass covered by a much shorter defender, putting Millard up 14-7 after a missed extra point.
The Red Devils were at an experience disadvantage on defense for most of the contest, playing many underclassmen in an attempt to keep the upperclassmen fresh for offense.
“We’ve got a lot of guys playing both ways so we try to keep em fresh so hopefully they’ll be ready for the next series,” senior team captain Trent Elmore said.
The Red Devils kept coming up empty on offense until late in the third quarter when Elmore broke free for a 21-yard rushing score. The Eagles blocked Wells’ extra point and clung to a 14-13 lead.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Eagles got their third interception on a pass telegraphed to senior Stacy Randall, then Millard quarterback Brooks Myers used his scrambling ability, which he had burned the Red Devils with several times throughout the evening, to keep the Eagles’ drive going, eventually ending in his third touchdown pass of the night, this one to Tyce Davies, which put the Eagles up 20-13 following a bobbled snap on the extra point. Grand responded with an 11-yard Troutt touchdown run on their next drive with 2:51 left in regulation. The Red Devils lined up a two-point conversion rather than an extra point, trying to win the game in regulation instead of sending it to overtime. Troutt was stopped short of the goal line on a designed run, however, and a pass interference penalty against the Red Devils on Millard’s ensuing drive allowed them to run the clock out and leave Moab with a 20-19 victory.
Statistically, Troutt led the Red Devils in rushing with 96 yards on 24 carries, while Elmore had 95 yards on 14 carries and Arbon had 72 yards on nine carries. Junior Brayden Troutt led the Red Devil defense with 14 tackles. With the loss, the Red Devils drop to 2-2 in non-region play.
They begin region play against South Sevier on Friday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. in what will also be their homecoming game. The Rams are 4-0, coming off a 42-0 win over North Summit on Friday, Sept. 7. The Red Devils beat South Sevier 21-7 in Monroe last season, but lost 33-6 to the Rams in the Red Devils’ 2016 homecoming game.
“We just need to execute more next week,” Elmore said. “Keep working hard and hopefully see improvement on the field.”
Team homecoming game on Friday, Sept. 14
“We just need to execute more next week. Keep working hard and hopefully see improvement on the field.”
When: Friday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m.
Where: Grand County High School football field, 608 S. 400 East