Grantsville let all its frustrations out Friday in a home encounter with the Manti Templars after two narrow defeats to superb opponents.
The Cowboys scored three times in the first half on fabulous plays from its special teams and led 15-0 before running an offensive play. The Templars could not bring down junior Ethan Rainer, or anybody else on the Grantsville squad. Rainer scored on two punt returns and caught a 39-yard TD bomb from senior quarterback Caleb Sullivan.
Grantsville’s offense was unstoppable and the defense made life miserable for opponents for the third consecutive game.
By the end of the first quarter, Grantsville led 22-0 and by halftime the Cowboys were up 42-0.
Fortunately for Manti, Grantsville coach Kody Byrd slammed on the brakes, emptied the sideline and gave freshmen and sophomores the opportunity to play in the second half in a varsity home game.
He even communicated via his headset to the press box in search of a quarterback to play the second half.
“Our regular backup was sick so I called up to the press box to see if our freshman quarterback Evan Bunderson had his gear and could play in the second half,” Byrd said. “He was up there writing down our offensive plays.”
Bunderson said the call caused a bit of anxiety but he was ready.
“It was right before the end of the second quarter. I was writing down some play calls that were happening down on the field and coach AJ (Rainer) said coach Byrd wants to know if you have your stuff,” Evan said.
The freshman quarterback lives near the high school on Quirk Street.
“I live right across the street so I headed home before the second half ended. My dad was in the stands and wondered what I was doing so we both sprinted around the high school back home to grab my stuff. I was really getting anxious and the adrenaline was pumping as we ran home, and I was getting pretty excited. We got home and grabbed my stuff and then hopped in the car and drove back to the school,” Evan said.
The young QB was able to fire off two passes in the second half, but both fell incomplete.
Fortunately for everyone involved — teams (especially Manti), fans and coaches — a running clock in the second half mercifully ended the game as soon as possible.