GRANTSVILLE—North Sanpete football had too much to handle as the Hawks lost their road game against the defending 3A champion Grantsville Cowboys last Friday night, 42-6.
The Hawks had some good momentum in the beginning of the game, nearly scoring on their first drive. But after fighting Grantsville to a near stalemate for most of the first half, and with the score 7-6 for the Cowboys, Grantsville broke the game open with a 21-0 run.
Grantsville owned the second half to make the contest a thrashing.
Grantsville’s experienced defense, led by senior Ethan Rainer, was a nightmare to deal with and often turned quarterback Ty Allan’s aggressive playmaking against him, nabbing four interceptions.
Grantsville’s first touchdown came from an interception, which the Cowboys took back 70 yards for the score. Other than that, the Hawk defense played solidly, not allowing an offensive touchdown for nearly the whole first half against a team averaging 34 points per game.
“We felt really good about our gameplan going into it,” coach Rhett Bird said. “Up until about 2 minutes left in the half, we were feeling great about where we were.”
On the Hawks’ first drive in the game, Allan took to the air and connected on a pass to sophomore Brock Jacobson for a huge gain to set the offense up on first-and-goal. Two plays later, Allan took a shot at the end zone, but Rainer jumped in front of it for an interception.
North Sanpete got into the end zone in the second quarter on a 4-yard touchdown run up the middle by senior P.J. Cook.
With roughly 3 minutes remaining, Grantsville capitalized on a 15-yard penalty by North Sanpete and scored on a 33-yard pass.
Things started to unravel quickly for the Hawks on their next drive as an attempt at a reverse double pass was bounced off Allan’s hands and intercepted, leading to a one-play scoring drive for Grantsville.
Disaster struck again on the next drive as another pass from Allan bounced off the receiver’s hands and into the hands of a Grantsville defender. With only a minute left in the half, the Cowboys put another touchdown on the board, turning a close game into 28-6 at halftime. After that, the rest of the game went Grantsville’s way.
“We took away the good from that game,” Bird said. “We obviously know that we have to clean some stuff up to be able to play with a team like that.”
The Hawks have a tall order next week against Desert Hills High School of St. George. With the Thunder being one of the best teams in 4A (ranked fourth by Deseret News), Bird said it may be a game where he’ll keep some players out of for rest and injury avoidance.
North Sanpete will be one the road against the Thunder. The Hawks will return home Friday Sept. 16 to open region play against Canyon View of Cedar City.