Grantsville’s football team is moving on to the second round of the 3A State Football Championships, following a brisk 39-0 defeat of the visiting Carbon High Dinos last Friday evening.
With the game taking place on Senior Night, Cowboys head coach Kody Byrd told his team to focus on the bigger picture and not get caught up on individual emotions.
“We just talked about playing for each other and not necessarily, playing for ourselves,” he said. “We talked about wanting to play again and extend our season that way.”
In a game that was decided well before halftime, the Cowboys got on the scoreboard early and took advantage of countless miscues and errors by the Dinos. On their opening drive, Carbon High went three-and-out and set up for a punt. After struggling with the snap, the team’s punter let the ball touch the ground and gave Grantsville a golden opportunity to start their own drive at the 8-yard-line.
With an automatic first and goal situation, the Cowboys wasted no time and junior Jayden Atkinson ran in a nine-yard touchdown run to propel his team to an early 7-0 lead. Carbon continued to struggle on the next drive, punting yet again to allow Grantsville to take the ball down the other way and kick a field goal to extend the lead to 10-0.
Following a turnover on downs, the Cowboys received possession of the football again and Atkinson tallied yet another rushing touchdown. This time a 29-yard sprint helped his team put the Dinos in an even deeper hole. Grantsville quarterback Dallan Van Vliet added insult to injury on a 17-yard touchdown pass to Krue Warren, followed up by a four-yard rushing score to firmly give the home team the lead.
At the end of the first half Carbon found itself staring down a 32-0 hole, one from which it could not recover over the course of the final two quarters. Despite Carbon recording more passing yards than Grantsville on the night, it was the Cowboys’ rushing defense that limited the Dinos to 16 total rushing yards and kept them out of the end zone.
Aside from getting pushback in the form of a strong Dinos passing game in the second half, Grantsville capped off its shutout, scoring a final touchdown to win 39-0. The score came in the form of a Guhner Kimber 2-yard run, breaking the 35-point threshold to accelerate the game clock and hurry along the victory.
Byrd acknowledged his team’s collective swagger and ability to shut Carbon down at nearly every turn. Any pressure carrying over from Grantsville’s Week 10 loss to Juan Diego was not apparent and the Dinos felt every bit of Grantsville’s rushing prowess.
“They played really well and played with confidence; that really helps,” Byrd said. “The boys really executed today and it showed.”
Waiting for the Cowboys in the quarterfinals is the fourth-ranked Canyon View Falcons, who own an 8-2 overall record on the season. The game takes place at 6 p.m. on Canyon View’s home field in Cedar City.
“We’ll have a few tweaks [beforehand], but it’s not going to change who we are,” Byrd added. “We’re a physical, running team and that’s where we’re going to start.”