In a battle of two high-ranked high school football teams, the Grantsville Cowboys traveled to Cedar City to square off against the Morgan Trojans in the semifinals of the 3A state championship.
Having faced one another in late-September, the Cowboys looked to avenge a 38-20 loss to Morgan. The Trojans had plans of their own and would get the game’s opening drive.
Early in the first quarter, Morgan was quick to strike after Trojan running back Jett Salmon ran for an 83-yard touchdown to put the team up 7-0 early on. Grantsville found itself on its heels and were unable to recover over the next two quarters.
Thanks to Morgan’s defense showing up with a purpose, the Cowboys were unable to muster together any offense in its first drive and punted away the ball.
What followed was a tradeoff of three-and-outs, with Grantsville’s drive ending after an inability to get over into Morgan’s end of the 50-yard line.
With the following possession, Morgan extended the lead to 13-0 after they picked up a rushing touchdown and put the Cowboys behind by two scores.
Grantsville responded with a quality drive in the second quarter, highlighted by a fake punt on fourth down and moved the Cowboys down the field. Unfortunately, the momentum was not enough to get the team into the end zone and continue the trend of the team falling short and failing to get on the scoreboard.
Morgan’s 13-point lead stood for the rest of the half, as neither team managed to put together any offense and each side shut down their opponents offensive stands. The second quarter ended and the Trojans took a 13-0 lead into the locker room.
Grantsville got the football to start the second half, but ultimately failed to score any points and punted the ball away. Both sides traded third-and-outs as a result of their respective smothering defense.
The rest of the third quarter proved to be more of the same and no points were scored over the next four drives.
As the fourth quarter got underway, it was Morgan that broke the scoring drought when they marched the ball down the field with nine minutes remaining in the game. A short touchdown run further put Grantsville on its heels and gave the Trojans a 20-0 lead.
With just over eight minutes left, the three-score deficit ended up being too much for Grantsville to overcome as the team continued to come up short in each of its remaining drives. Morgan tacked on one final touchdown to cap the scoring off and take a 27-0 lead that would stand for the rest of the game.
With the loss, the Cowboys are eliminated from the tournament and Morgan heads to the state championship game next week to play the Juab Wasps.