The Grantsville football team will be glad to see the regular season end.
The Cowboys suffered their fourth loss in five games Wednesday night, dropping their Region 13 finale to Morgan 35-0 on the road. Grantsville (5-5, 1-3 Region 13) finished in a tie for fourth place in the region standings with South Summit, though the Wildcats hold the tiebreaker by virtue of their win over the Cowboys.
Morgan (5-2, 4-0) dominated Wednesday’s game from start to finish, taking advantage of a number of crucial Grantsville penalties along the way. The Trojans’ opening drive — an 11-play, 67-yard effort that took 4:49 off the clock — was aided by a personal foul against the Cowboys for a helmet-to-helmet hit. That moved the ball to the Grantsville 22-yard line, and five plays later, Morgan’s Klint Love ran it in from a yard out to put the Trojans up 7-0.
After Grantsville went three-and-out on its first possession, Morgan put together another impressive drive that benefited from a key penalty on the Cowboys. On third-and-10 from the Trojans’ 37-yard line, it looked like Grantsville was going to get off the field as quarterback Ryder Lish’s pass fell incomplete. However, the Cowboys were flagged for defensive holding, giving Morgan a first down and keeping the drive alive. After a 10-yard run by Will Lance and a 14-yard run by Tanner Belinski moved the Trojans deep into Grantsville territory, Lish found Nick Despain in the end zone for a 28-yard TD pass and a 14-0 lead with 3:46 left in the first quarter.
Grantsville fumbled the ball away on its next possession, but forced the Trojans to go three-and-out. The Cowboys had to punt six plays later, only to have Morgan’s Jarron Savage return it for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead less than two minutes into the second quarter.
Penalties doomed a promising Grantsville drive later in the quarter, as the Cowboys moved the ball past the 50-yard line for the first time in the game on back-to-back passes from Caleb Sullivan to Noah Mouritsen. Back-to-back false-start penalties on the Cowboys pushed them back to their own 46, and they were forced to punt again.
Grantsville had another promising drive halted just before halftime. The Cowboys started on their own 10 after a Morgan punt, but a 63-yard catch-and-run by Grant Rounds put Grantsville at the Trojans’ 27. Pass completions to Mouritsen, Blake Thomas and Josh Staley had the Cowboys facing second-and-6 from the 11, but three incompletions and a false-start penalty left the Cowboys empty-handed.
Morgan added to its lead on a 19-yard TD pass from Lish to Gavin Turner on its first possession of the second half. Just 2:32 later, after forcing Grantsville to go three-and-out, the Trojans scored again on a 12-yard run by Lish to put the game on a running clock the rest of the way.
Grantsville had one more chance to score, driving the ball from its own 20 to Morgan’s 37 with a pair of runs by Gabe Mouritsen and passes from Sullivan to Thomas, Payson Sorenson and Dillen Richardson, but the drive stalled and the Cowboys turned the ball over on downs. The teams then swapped turnovers late in the game before time ran out.
Grantsville had just 169 yards of total offense, with a total of minus-11 rushing yards on 13 carries. Sullivan was 15-for-30 for 180 yards and an interception, with Rounds catching two balls for 82 yards and Noah Mouritsen catching five passes for 54 yards.
Belinski ran for 114 yards to lead Morgan, which had already clinched the Region 13 championship before Wednesday’s game. Lish carried the ball 13 times for 70 yards, and was 6-for-11 through the air for 93 yards. Turner had three catches for 34 yards and Despain had two catches for 49 yards.
Both teams will be in action next Friday in the opening round of the Class 3A state playoffs. The bracket will be revealed Saturday at 9 a.m. on the Utah High School Activities Association’s website, www.uhsaa.org.