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2A football semifinal preview: Beaver looking to flip the script after Grand's shutout of the Beavers a few weeks ago

Grand (7-3) vs. Beaver (8-3)

2A state tournament semifinal

Saturday, 1:30 p.m. (at Timpview High School)

  • Parry’s Power Guide: Grand by 1
  • All-time series: Beaver leads 10-6
  • Coach vs. coach: Grand’s Dennis Wells and Beaver’s Jon Marshall tied 1-1
  • Last meeting: Oct. 5, 2018 – Grand 21, Beaver 0

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A month ago Grand shut out Beaver 21-0 in a game that helped clinch a share of the region championship. It was the first time since 2013 — a streak of 68 games — that Beaver had been shut out.

In the rematch this Saturday in the 2A semifinals at Timpview (1:30 p.m.), Beaver must figure out a way to flip that script if it hopes to advance to its fourth straight state title game.

“Grand is a very good football team, but we feel like we can play with them. We’re going to have to do things a lot better and obviously there’s going to have to be adjustments,” said Beaver coach Jon Marshall.

Beaver has won three straight since that loss on Oct. 5 and hasn’t given up an offensive touchdown in the process.

Beaver pulled away in the second half for the quarterfinal win over Delta aided by a 95-yard kick return from Ryker Albrecht, while Grand advanced to the semifinals with a narrow 28-21 win over visiting South Sevier.

Grand coach Dennis Wells knows beating Beaver a second time won’t be easy.

“The kids like their chances, we beat Beaver earlier, but to be honest it’s going to be a really good game and it can go either way,” said Wells.

Grand’s offense ranks second in 2A averaging 27.5 ppg, and leading the way in the single wing offense has been a trifecta of runners, Bryant Troutt, Corbin Arbon and Trent Elmore.

Wells said his team always sees a variety of defenses as teams try to slow the Red Devils, and he credits his offensive line for making the right reads and creating those opportunities for the backs.

“Our line has done a really good job with their reads and making line calls. We have a really good center, Brodi Williams, who is good at making those calls and puts us in a good position to be successful,” said Wells.

Grand doesn’t throw the ball much, but its big-play potential in the passing game hurt Beaver in the previous meeting as Elmore hauled in a 55-yard touchdown pass from Troutt with 52 seconds left in the third quarter to push the lead to 21-0.

On a night when Grand was dominating the line of scrimmage, the three-score lead was more than enough. Beaver rushed for just 74 yards in that loss, which was well below its average of 216 rushing yards per game.

“They were very physical us up front and we had a hard time running the football. They made us very one-dimensional,” said Marshall.

Beaver was forced to throw it most of the night which resulted in four interceptions. A more balanced approach will be key in the semifinals.

“I feel like we have the last three weeks played better, and hopefully that’s going to translate,” said Marshall.

……

Grand statistical breakdown

  • Scoring offense: 27.5 ppg (27.5 in 2A)
  • Scoring defense: 15.7 ppg (3rd in 2A)
  • Passing leader: Bryant Troutt (29-69, 42.0%, 533 yards, 4 TDs, 9 INTs)
  • Rushing leaders: Bryant Troutt (152 carries, 872 yards, 14 TDs), Corbin Arbon (88 carries, 705 yards, 8 TDs)
  • Receiving leaders: Stacy Randall (15 rec., 439 yards, 4 TDs)
  • Tackles leaders: Brayden Troutt (72 tackles), Austin Johnson (61 tackles)
  • Sack leaders: Jarett Reidhead (4 sacks)
  • Interception leaders: Bailey Shelton (5 INTs)

……

Beaver statistical breakdown

  • Scoring offense: 24.6 ppg (6th in 2A)
  • Scoring defense: 15.3 ppg (2nd in 2A)
  • Passing leader: Ryker Albrecht (104-205, 50.7%, 1,244 yards, 10 TDs, 16 INTs)
  • Rushing leaders: Ryker Albrecht (189 carries, 757 yards, 11 TDs), EJ Allred (122 carries, 658 yards, 8 TDs)
  • Receiving leaders: Spencer Williams (43 rec., 450 yards, 3 TDs), McCoy Smith (12 rec., 268 yards, 1 TD)
  • Tackles leaders: McCoy Smith (84 tackles), EJ Allred (81 tackles)
  • Sack leaders: McCoy Smith (5 sacks), EJ Allred (4 sacks)
  • Interception leaders: Jarret Fairhurst (6 INTs), Treyson Hunter (5 INTs)

…….

Felt’s Facts for Grand High School

  • Head Coach: 2002-current — Dennis Wells (91-90)
  • All-time record: 431-384-18 (98 years)
  • Region championships: 24 (1923, 1925, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1932, 1950, 1952, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1984 co, 1995 co, 2005 co, 2018 co)
  • Playoff appearances: 53
  • Current playoff appearance streak: 4 (2015-2018)
  • All-time playoff record: 32-51
  • State championships: 1 (2005)
  • State championship record: 1-6

……

Felt’s Facts for Beaver High School

  • Head Coach: 2017-current — Jon Marshall (18-5)
  • All-time record: 467-255-11 (79 years)
  • Region championships: 16 (1962, 1965 co, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1977 co, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1987, 1992 co, 1994 co, 2002 co, 2013, 2015, 2017)
  • Playoff appearances: 52
  • Current playoff appearance streak: 29 (1990-2018)
  • All-time playoff record: 69-40
  • State championships: 11 (1970, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1990, 2015, 2016)
  • State championship record: 11-10