By Matt Harris | Anyone who predicted the clash between the 2A Beaver Beavers and the visiting 3A Grantsville Cowboys to be a close one would have been half correct in that it was the closest game the Beavers had played in a year and a half’s worth of regular seasons.
It just wasn’t objectively close.
Beaver’s winning streak grew to 19 games as the Beavers routed the Cowboys, 42-20, in one of the last few non-region matchups of the regular season. Grantsville was only the second team during the course of Beaver’s current winning streak to lose to them by less than 30 points.
Grantsville fell to 4-2 on the year, as Beaver continued to run unchallenged through the season.
Senior quarterback Treyson Hunter completed 7 of 11 passes for 79 yards and two touchdowns, both of them to senior Crayton Hollingshead. Hollingshead added nine carries for 73 yards and a third touchdown to his performance. It was a solid comeback for the senior who slowly returned to play over the last three games following a knee injury over the summer.
Senior Turner Williams led the rushing with 15 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown.
The Beaver defense continued to shine, totaling eight tackles-for-loss and three sacks. Junior defender Statler Wright had one of the game’s best highlights when he burst around the edge to blow up Grantsville junior quarterback Caleb Sullivan for a blindside sack. That forced a fumble to be recovered by Beaver in Grantsville territory on the second drive of the game.
The Beavers notched their 10th straight win over 3A or higher programs.
“I was proud of our kids for being ready to play and answering the bell,” Beaver head coach Jon Marshall said. “We knew we had a really good team coming in…We were anxious to find out how we’d match up against them, so I felt like our kids weren’t intimated against them.”
“Our team got punched in the mouth,” said Grantsville head coach Kody Byrd.
He was disappointed not only about the final score, but about the effort put forth by the Cowboys throughout the game. Beaver was up 21-7 by the end of the first quarter and could have been up more if it hadn’t been for a late first quarter touchdown on a kickoff return by sophomore Ethan Rainer.
“I just thought we’d show up a little bit more and have a little bit more fight than we showed tonight,” Byrd said. “But you give it to Beaver. They brought it from the beginning, and they were the more physical team, and they deserved it.”
Sullivan finished with a touchdown pass to Gabe Mouritsen and was largely solid throughout the game. Junior running back Blake Thomas scored a 13-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, keeping Thomas’s streak alive of scoring a touchdown in every varsity game he’s played. No final stats were published at press time for Grantsville.
Beaver’s momentum carried through every minute of the game. The Beavers received the opening kickoff and straightway committed to the run game. They rushed the ball on every down of their first drive, ending in a 1-yard touchdown run by Williams.
After Beaver forced the fumble on the Cowboys’ opening drive, EJ Allred took a shot at the endzone from two yards out and scored.
On the ensuing kickoff, Grantsville reclaimed some lost fire when Rainer fielded the kick and left the entire Beaver special teams unit in the dust for an 85-yard touchdown return. The Beavers responded right back as Hunter delivered a touchdown strike to Hollingshead on his first pass attempt of the game.
Grantsville kept a good fight back and forth with Beaver in the second quarter as the two teams traded possessions. Then, the Cowboys ate up most of the quarter with a nine-play 68-yard drive that ended with the 8-yard touchdown catch by Mouritsen.
Hollingshead came up big for the home team by catching the Beavers’ response touchdown just seconds before halftime. Then, after a scoreless third quarter, Hollingshead struck the killing blow. With a 21-yard touchdown on a breakaway sweep off the right side the Beavers made it a 35-14 lead.
Overall, the Beavers netted 337 total yards, 261 of them on the ground.
Both teams will be getting into region play next Friday. Beaver goes for their third region win when they travel to Enterprise, while Grantsville returns home to face South Summit.
Featured image via Hudl.