If only the football game ended at halftime, Grantsville fans would have gone home happy about their undefeated team. Unfortunately, Judge Memorial controlled the game in the second half and erased a 14-point deficit.
With 25 unanswered points in the second half, Judge came back to hand Grantsville its first loss of the season with a 25-14 victory Friday night in Grantsville.
Kaden Elliss was a big reason for the Judge Memorial comeback as he passed for three touchdowns and rushed for another in the comeback victory.
Ky Fisher was effective on the ground for the Cowboys with 72 yards rushing and a score and Wyatt Smith added 33 yards on the ground, but most of the Grantsville yards came in the first half. The Cowboys only gained 45 total yards in the final two quarters while earning only three first downs while throwing two interceptions on the final two drives of the game in the loss.
Grantsville’s offense opened the game in a very businesslike manner by scoring on two of their first three possessions.
Fisher was the workhorse on the first drive by running the ball eight times for 37 yards and catching a pass for 19 yards. Fisher finished the drive with a 2-yard touchdown for a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
After holding Judge to no first downs on their first two drives, Grantsville went right back to work on offense on their third possession. Nephi Meono completed a pair of passes to Dillon Hutchins and Smith to keep moving the ball. Smith later broke off a run for 18 yards, just one yard shy of the goal line. Meono finished off the drive with a 1-yard QB sneak for a 14-0 lead. Grantsville’s defense kept Judge off the scoreboard to preserve the shutout after two quarters.
Everything changed in the second half as Judge started to balance their offense more with their passing game. Elliss completed two passes on the opening drive of the second half for 52 yards including a 32-yard pass to Braden Pelly to make the score 14-6 to get within one score.
After a Grantsville three-and-out Judge quarterback Elliss again hit Pelly for a touchdown pass from 29-yards out. The 2-point conversion failed for Judge as Grantsville clinged to a 14-12 lead with 2:53 left in the third.
With the Grantsville offense stalling, the defense felt the pressure of holding onto a 2-point lead. Late in the fourth, Elliss struck again from 39-yards out by finding Michael Kearns that gave Judge their first lead of the game at 18-14 with 2:54 left in the game.
With a chance to get the offense going and go after the lead Grantsville picked up a pair of first downs on the following drive, but a costly interception ended the Grantsville drive.
Elliss put the finishing touches on the Judge victory with a 63-yard touchdown run for a 25-14 lead that put the game out of reach for Grantsville to hand the Cowboys their first loss in region.
Grantsville will look to bounce back at home on Friday it hosts Emery at 7 p.m.