MOAB The Grand Red Revils defeated the Manti Templars 21-7 in 2A quarterfinal action Friday night.
Despite falling behind 7-0 early in the second period, the Red Devils managed to put the defensive stops on the Templars the rest of the way.
"Our defense really toughened up and made some big plays," said Grand coach Dennis Wells. "We only had one turnover the entire game, and (Manti) fumbled it right back to us."
Manti, which had forced Grand to punt three times in the first period, got on the board first with 11:15 left in the second period, thanks to a 3-yard TD run by senior running back David Hugentobler. Eric Ostler kicked the extra point to make it 7-0.
The Red Devils responded by driving the length of the field on their next possession, with Clay Cowan and Leonard Francis making key catches on the drive. Senior quarterback Gordon Garrett found Cowan in the end zone for a 6-yard TD reception with 6:09 left in the first half. Garrett Sisco missed the extra point try, leaving Manti up 7-6.
With less than two minutes remaining before halftime, the Templars had the ball at midfield, but Grand's Austin Brewer intercepted Griffin Aste's pass. Garrett then completed another big pass to Cowan, bringing the Devils to the Manti 21-yard line. On the ensuing play, Garrett connected with Brewer at the 6-yard line. Then, one play later, Garrett found Cowan again in the end zone for another 6-yard TD reception. Garrett then completed the pass attempt to Brewer for the two-point conversion, putting the Red Devils up 14-7.
"Austin's interception was a key turning point for us," said Wells. "It led to the go-ahead TD, and a seven-point halftime lead."
Both teams punted twice during the scoreless third period. Then, with 9:31 left in the fourth, Garrett intercepted a first-down pass in Grand territory. Three plays later, however, the Red Devils lost the ball again on a fumble by Derick Eddy at the Grand 30-yard line.
Still down 14-7, Manti made it as close as the Grand 15-yard line and appeared poised to either tie the game or take the lead when they fumbled the ball on with seven minutes remaining.
Taking over at their own 16, Grand needed just two plays to put the game out of reach. First, Garrett rushed nine yards to the 25. Then Garrett sprinted up the middle for a 75-yard rushing TD with 5:28 left. Sisco's kick was good this time, making it 21-7.
Grand (6-4 overall), now has a three-game winning streak over Manti, which finished 7-4. The Red Devils next face the winner of today's San Juan-North Summit matchup.
Both 2A semifinal games will be played Nov. 3 at Juan Diego High School in Draper.