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High school football: Grand Red Devils 2020 preview

Here’s an in-depth look at the Grand Red Devils football team heading into the 2020 season.

Note: Grand County finished with a 5-6 overall record in 2019 and was third in Region 12 with a 3-2 record. It was RPI seed No. 13 in the 3A playoffs, and was eliminated by Manti 35-14 in first round.


MOAB — Last season, coming off of a trip to the 2A championship game in 2018, Grand struggled a little bit with the departure of a good senior class. The Red Devils didn’t have as much depth in 2019 and finished with a 5-6 record in their first season in 3A, losing to Manti in the first round of the playoffs.

“I think we could have won two or three more games. We went 5-6 since they moved us to 3A. I felt like we could have won three more of those games, but we graduated a really good class. We might have a little bit of a rough time this next year or two because we don’t really have very many upperclassmen right now,” head coach Dennis Wells said.

This season may pose more concerns regarding depth as Grand struggles to get numbers out for football.

“We started football this week and we only had 29 kids out. We don’t have very many numbers. We’re going to struggle a little bit I think this year,” Wells said.

Grand will have to replace leading rusher Bryant Troutt. It returns three starters on the offensive line and only one skill position starter, running back Dylan Harrison. On defense, the Red Devils bring back five starters, but will have to replace Troutt, the team’s leading tackler with 128 tackles last season. Harrison, who had 42 tackles last year, will be a leader on defense.


Grand Red Devils at a glance

Coach Wells’ thoughts on how his players dealt with the COVID-19 adversity in the spring and summer:

“It hasn’t really affected us down here. I don’t think anybody down here has any relatives or anybody they know that actually has come down with it, so it really hasn’t affected us. We’ve just been doing what we’ve been to told to do with the social distancing and masks. So far we’ve been pretty good.”

Grand Offensive Snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Dennis Wells

2019 offense: 20.5 ppg (11th in 3A)

2019 offensive statistics
  • 4 returning starters
  • Wing-T offense
Returning offensive starters
  • Dylan Harrison (RB)
  • Chance Arbon (TE)
  • Cody Knudsen (OL)
  • Jaymmin Hester (G)
Offensive newcomers to watch
  • Dante Wells
  • Trenton Nelson
  • Remington Roberts
  • Zach Phillips
  • Blane Thompson
Coach Wells’ keys for offensive success in 2020:

“We don’t have the depth. We haven’t had that for a few years. Our numbers have been down. We’re just going to have to pound the ball. I don’t know if it will be a passionate (group of) receivers. I think we’re going to have to be good at running the ball and develop a good O-line.”


Grand Defensive Snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Scott Horton

2019 defense: 21.2 ppg (8th in 3A)

2019 defensive statistics
  • 5 returning starters
  • 3-4 defense
Returning defensive starters
  • Dylan Harrison (LB)
  • Dante Wells (S)
  • Chasee Croasmun (CB)
  • Chance Arbon (CB)
  • Jaymmin Hester (DL)
Defensive newcomers to watch
  • Zach Phllips (DL)
  • Cody Knudsen (DL)
  • Brayden Castor (LB)
  • Trenton Nelson (LB)
  • Remington Roberts (LB)
  • Blane Thompson (LB)
Coach Wells’ keys for defensive success in 2020:

“We’re going to have to probably take chances, put more pressure on the offense by bringing pressure.”

Deseret News outlook for 2020

Grand could struggle this year with lack of depth. The key for the Red Devils will be how fast the newcomers on offense and defense will get acquainted with the system.


Felt’s Facts for Grand

  • All-time record: 437-391-18 (99 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)

  • Playoff appearances: 54

  • All-time playoff record: 33-53

  • State championships: 1 (2005)

  • State championship record: 1-7

  • Most played rivalry: 74 meetings with San Juan dating back to 1956. San Juan leads 44-30.


Last 5 Seasons

  • 2019 — 5-6 (3-2 in Region 12 – 3A First round)
  • 2018 — 8-4 (4-1 in 2A South – 2A Runner-up)
  • 2017 — 9-2 (4-1 in 2A South - 2A Semifinals)
  • 2016 — 5-6 (1-4 in 2A South – 2A Quarterfinals)
  • 2015 — 6-5 (3-2 in 2A South – 2A Quarterfinals)

Grand coaching history

  • 2002-current — Dennis Wells (97-97) *1 State Title
  • 1996-2001 — Ron Dolphin (21-39)

  • 1994-1995 — Doug Thompson (13-7)

  • 1992-1993 — Steve Hren (3-15)

  • 1989-1991 — Doug Thompson (11-16)

  • 1985-1988 — Bill Moore (16-19)

  • 1983-1984 — Curtis Page (14-7)

  • 1982 — Verplank (4-5)

  • 1980-1981 — Bruce Burningham (5-14)

  • 1959-1979 — Glen Richeson (134-72)

  • 1954-1958 — Darrel Crawford (12-18)

  • 1951-1953 — Dick Hill (8-11)

  • 1949-1950 — Larry Palmer (12-4)

  • 1947-1948 — K.L. Davis (7-10)

  • 1946 – Mike McQuirk (0-4)

  • 1944-1945 — Unknown (5-8)

  • 1943 — Willard Devitt (2-4)

  • 1941-1942 — Unknown (7-4)

  • 1939-1940 — Ken Soffe (6-5)

  • 1931-1938 — Glenn Merrill (25-14)

  • 1930 — Joe Day (2-1)

  • 1927-1929 — Eddie Kimball (14-5)

  • 1925-1926 — Clem Campbell (8-4)

  • 1921-1924 — H.B. Evans (7-5)


Grand All-State at-a-glance

Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years

  • 2018 — Corbin Arbon, RB
  • 2018 — Brody Williams, OL
  • 2018 — Jarett Reidhead, OL
  • 2018 — Brayden Troutt, LB
  • 2018 — Bryant Troutt, ATH
  • 2017 — Dante Wells, K
  • 2017 — Nick Downard, LB
  • 2017 — Gage Hansen, OL
  • 2017 — Dakota Johnson, RB
  • 2016 — Brayden Schultz, QB/FS
  • 2015 — Dalton McElhaney, QB/LB
  • 2015 — Brandon Secrest, FB/DL
  • 2015 — Seth Holyoak, TE/LB
  • 2013 — Jacob Francis, QB/FS

  • 2013 — Koi Cook, RB/LB

  • 2013 — Edgar Gomez, OL/DL

  • 2012 — Jacob Francis, QB/DB

  • 2012 — Koi Cook, RB/DB

  • 2012 — Edgar Gomez, OL/DL

  • 2011 — Kevin Ballard, LB

  • 2010 — Billy Keddington, QB