MOAB The South Sevier Rams used stingy defense and a balanced rushing attack to spoil Grand County's homecoming Friday night, shutting out the Red Devils 10-0 at Moab.
The two teams, each playing their first region game of the year, battled to a scoreless tie in the first half, but South Sevier clearly had the upper hand in terms of field position and yardage gained. The Rams had 131 yards of total offense in the first half, including 111 on the ground. Grand, meantime, managed just 77 yards by halftime.
But it was the Red Devils who came closest to scoring in the first half, with running back Mike Gruber advancing to the South Sevier 1-yard-line late in the first period to give the Red Devils a first-and-goal situation. Gruber then tried twice to break into the end zone, to no avail. Grand quarterback Trevor Robertson fumbled the snap on the next play, and the Rams recovered. The Red Devils never got any closer to scoring the rest of the game.
"In the first half, we really killed ourselves with penalties," said South Sevier coach Travis McAllister. "We really shot ourselves in the foot with mental mistakes.
"In the second half, we just ran the ball, and did a better job of executing," added McAllister.
With just under six minutes left in the third, Ram running back Landon Leavitt broke the shutout with an 11-yard touchdown run up the middle. Kicker Dillon Bishoff kicked the extra point to put the Rams ahead 7-0.
Down by a score, the Red Devils still struggled to move the ball offensively. The back-breaking play came with 8:16 left in the fourth, when Bishoff booted a 44-yard field goal to put the Rams up 10-0.
"What a weapon that is, to be able to get 10 ahead in a one-touchdown game," said McAllister, adding that Bishoff has already booted four field goals over 30 yards this season, including a 45-yarder last week.
Grand managed to gain some hope with 5:26 left in the game, when Jacob Cresswell recovered a fumble at midfield, giving the Red Devils the ball one last time. Grand managed to advance as far as the South Sevier 27-yard line, but Red Devils were stifled on four straight plays, turning the ball over on downs with three minutes left. The Rams then ran out the clock to end the game.
The Rams, who only made one pass attempt in the second half (a 14-yard gain), finished with 146 yards rushing in the second half alone, finishing with 291 yards total offense. Grand was held to minus 4 yards rushing and 44 yards passing in the second half, as quarterback Trevor Robertson connected on four of seven attempts. Grand finished the game with just 117 yards total offense.
South Sevier (now 4-1 overall, 1-0 in region) will host Richfield next week, while Grand (3-2, 0-1) will travel to play Beaver.