Grantsville saw its football season draw to an end last Friday, as they narrowly lost 21-13 in the dying moments of their quarterfinal game against the Canyon View Falcons.
After coming up short in the first half, due to a lack of execution and drives that fell short of the endzone, the Cowboys found themselves in a 14-0 hole heading into the third quarter.
According to head coach Kody Byrd, his team showed a renewed vigor coming out of the locker room and nearly pushed Canyon View to the limit.
“We were able to move the ball [in the first half], just didn’t put together enough plays to score,” he said. “Once the boys came out of half a little more energized, they were able to punch it in a couple of times.”
Grantsville made a push and scored 13 points in the second half, to pull within a single score. The Cowboy’s first seven points came in the third quarter, when a 2-yard-rushing touchdown by senior Lincoln Rushton brought the score to 21-7 in favor of the Falcons. A 9-yard reception by junior Jayden Atkinson, followed up by a missed PAT, narrowed the gap to 21-13.
Grantsville found itself with the ball late in the game, with a prime opportunity to tie the game up and send it to overtime. However, a failed red zone drive in the game’s last minute, sealed the Cowboys’ fate and the Falcons advanced to this week’s semifinals.
“I was proud of the way the team played in the second half,” Byrd said. “We executed on offense much better and played with more desire on defense — we just needed a bit more time on the clock.”
Among the leaders for Grantsville were quarterback Dallan Van vliet, whose 138 passing yards came off 14 of his 30 attempts. Atkinson led the team on the ground, offensively, with 217 yards to go along with his rushing touchdown on 18 carries.
Defensively, senior Marc Richardson recorded one sack, with Rushton and Scotty Irons registering 13 and 10 tackles, respectively.
The Cowboys finished the season with an overall 6-6 record and a 3-2 record in the 3A North region.
“I was a little disappointed we ended our season a bit earlier than we are used to, but we did overcome some early injuries and got numerous players some varsity experience,” Byrd said. “I feel we have a good idea of what we have coming back and will be much more experienced in crucial positions.”