SALT LAKE CITY — Devan Durfey wasn't worried.
Naturally, the Granger kicker was vexed by a missed extra point that had the Lancers down by a point late in the fourth quarter at Judge Memorial, but he focused on his next task — a field goal to redeem himself and give his team the win. Durfey nailed that kick from 30 yards with nine seconds remaining, and the vastly improved Lancers held on for the 37-35 victory Friday night to improve to 4-0 on the season.
"Making the field goal at the end is nothing," Durfey said. "I'm more concerned about getting back on the field and practicing and practicing and making sure (the missed extra point) never happens again."
"I kept telling him in camp, 'hey, Durf, you're gonna win us a game … I just know you're gonna win us a game,' " Granger coach Alex Gerke said.
The kick came three plays after Granger benefited from a close call. On fourth-and-4, Jordan Hernandez's pass intended for Elmer Pauni was knocked away by Judge's Sosefo Falemaka. But the official said Falemaka had made contact before the ball got there, and the pass interference penalty gave Granger new life at the Bulldogs' 13.
The Lancers overcame a two-touchdown deficit entering the final quarter, outscoring Judge 16-0 in the frame.
Granger scored early in the quarter when Asi Vakalahi took it in from seven yards out to pull the Lancers within 35-28. Vakalahi, ran the bulk of his 196 yards in the first and fourth quarters, and was key in setting up Granger's late scores.
After Vakalahi's TD, Judge was driving near midfield when Miles Ellis — who had a great game grinding out 93 yards and two TDs in his own right — fumbled and Granger's Mike Laumua recovered at the Judge 46.
Two plays later, Vakalahi rambled 53 yards out of the power formation to the Judge 1, and Jordan Hernandez plunged in from there to get the Lancers within a point with 6:21 to play.
Another close call helped Granger get the ball back for its final drive, as Judge QB Jack Barnett's third-down pass to a diving Pat Neville was ruled incomplete.
Judge had built a 21-7 lead in the first half thanks to its defense. An interception by Christian Weidle helped set up a 28-yard touchdown run by Barnett, and later in the second quarter, Carson Jones picked off Hernandez and took it back 20 yards for a score.
Hernandez responded with a clutch drive in the last 1:18 of the half, hitting Jacob Pili on a few passes for 36 yards and then taking it in himself from nine yards out to pull within a touchdown.
"I think the mental toughness shows how they've taken to coaching and what we're trying to get done at Granger High School," Gerke said.