MOAB—Gunnison Valley football’s defense was the star last Friday night as the Bulldogs pitched their first shutout since 2020, beating Grand County, 35-0.
The Bulldogs came into the game on Friday with some serious momentum after earning two wins in a row en route to a 3-1 record, Gunnison’s best five-game start since 2005. The good run has given the team that boost of excitement and encouragement needed to keep the wins going.
In line with Coach Patrick King’s tenacity for early offense, Gunnison won the coin toss and elected to receive the ball first to get the offense up and running, and it paid off.
On just the second play of the game, senior running back Tyrek Hopkins gave the team exactly what they wanted to see. He took a direct snap and, with a solid block from senior Skip Jackson, he ran the ball for 51 yards to put the Bulldogs on the score- board with just one minute off the clock.
The Red Devils struggled in their first possession of the game as Gunnison junior Pearson Judy was a force to be reckoned with as his tackles stopped Grand and forced them to punt the ball away in just four short plays. The punt was blocked and bounced off a Red Devil line man and into the hands of junior Tyson Tucker to give Gunnison great field position.
The Bulldog’s second possession of the game only took four snaps to get Hopkins into the endzone for another touchdown.
Grand had every chance to make good progress, but the team couldn’t catch a break. Their receiver caught the ensuing kickoff but lost his shoe, forcing him to take a knee at the five-yard line.
The Bulldogs exploded the whole 1st quarter, and Tucker capitalized off another mistake by Grand when he intercepted the ball and took it back to the 20-yard line. Senior Bryson Sorensen then ran the ball on the first snap of the possession for a 20- yard touchdown and a 21-0 lead with just three minutes left in the first quarter.
The second quarter started and with just five seconds off the clock, Andres Valencia intercepted the Devils long pass to keep the Bulldogs on a roll.
Gunnison kept the burners going and what King called a solid win led by the Bulldog defense played to a “lights out game.”
“The defense produced four turnovers and a blocked punt, along with two sacks and seven quarterback hurries,” King said.
King was impressed with several of his players and expects to feed off the now 4-1 record as they head in to the Homecoming game against rival North Sevier this Friday.