The Grantsville football team, 1-1 in region play, will bring heat to the Region 6 last place team Carbon High on Friday night in Price, hoping the Dinos will combust on their home field.
At stake is a second-place slot in the region and the Cowboys are drooling. In first place is Morgan High. GHS is one of four teams — in company with Judge Memorial, Emery and Union — who hold a 1-1 record that are vying for that second-place spot.
“It’s a pretty even region,” GHS coach Kody Byrd said. “I thought the game against Morgan would be the one that would decide who would be the region champs. After that they were pretty evenly matched.
“It will be a good competition for that second spot now,” he said.
Carbon’s region losses are were with Emery High, where the Dinos lost by three points, 19-16, last Friday and to Union the previous week, 33-20.
“I think we have a good chance this week,” Byrd said.
Leading the offense for Carbon in all-purpose yards at 711 rushing and 306 yards on punt returns on the season is Nathan Olson. Olson also tops the defense with solo tackles at 40 and ties for 6 sacks on QB with three other players.
When asked whether the Cowboys’ game plan was focused on shutting down any particular player, Byrd said that the plan would address more of what the Dinos do scheme-wise.
“Football’s such a strange game. You never know what’s going to happen. Someone can go out the first play of the game and then you’re like ‘Oh, now, what do we do?’”
As a result, the focus is on how the two teams’ schemes match up.
As the region play hits the mid-point this week, there are a few injuries that have had to be addressed and GHS has been forced to rely on some secondary players. Defensive player Austin Grey and running back Parker Thomas sat out last week’s game. For Thomas not playing last week was a result of bumps and bruises from earlier, non-region games.
Gage Schmidt moved up at the running back role and filled those shoes quite well, Byrd said, compiling over 200 yards in rushing last week.
“It’s just a compliment to him that he was ready, even though he was the backup at that position. He starts on defense, but primarily a backup on offense. He was ready, knew what he was supposed to do and did a great job filling in,” Byrd said.
“It’s always good to have them step up and play well, especially when someone goes down like that,” he added.
For the Cowboys, look for Coy Johnson and Thomas to put up big numbers on offense, with sophomore Ammon Bartley and Brady Arbon mixing it up on the receiving end of the ball. Thomas has accumulated 499 all-purpose rushing yards on the season and Bartley and Arbon have amassed 265 and 168 receiving yards respectively.
Gage Schmidt should also play a large role in a Cowboy victory on both offense and defense, with 311 total rushing yards and 21 solo tackles. Topping Schmidt on solo tackles are Arbon with 27 and senior Braxton Hansen’s 23 for the season.
Grantsville will be back at home Friday, Oct. 6 to play Judge Memorial. Both games this week and next will begin at 7 p.m.