The Kanab Cowboys came within a minute of getting a shutout in their season opener last Friday night , beating North Sevier 21-7. Head Coach Bucky Orton told his players after the game, “You guys aren’t any better than North Sevier – you just worked harder.”

He was proud of his young team’s effort. There are only six seniors on the squad this year, and limited numbers as well. Orton added, “We made a lot of mistakes tonight, myself included. But that’s what we’ll work on – to get better every week.”

Junior quarterback Brandon Jenson, who was expected to be out the first couple weeks after breaking a collarbone in training camp, was cleared to play just before the game. Jenson took over quarterback duties from sophomore Merrill Terry in the first series of the second quarter and promptly led them to the end zone. He had the benefit of a short field after a Wolves punt from deep in their own territory ended up on the North Sevier 37 yard line. Jenson hit wide receiver Brandon Nielson on a three yard fade pass to put Kanab ahead 7-0 with 8:40 left in the second period. The two big plays on the drive were when Kyle Livingston picked up a tough two yards on a third and one from the 28; and a Jenson to Nielson 18 yard pass to the five yard line.

Kanab missed out on another great scoring opportunity with five minutes left in the half. The Cowboys recovered a fumbled punt on the Wolves 38 yard line, only to have it called back on a penalty. On the rekick, punter Hayden Jones booted a 53 yard kick to the North Sevier 21. The Wolves drove to midfield and with :41 left in the half, #40 dropped a long pass that probably would have been a touchdown. Kanab held and led 7-0 at the break.

Kanab dodged another bullet on the second half kickoff when the ball bounced in front of several Cowboys and they stood there looking at the ball while a North Sevier player dove on it to give the Wolves possession on the Kanab 22.

Mr. Versatile, Merrill Terry, saved the kick return squad by making an interception on the Cowboy five yard line. Jared Southwick gained 16 yards on a sweep and Jenson hooked up with James Anderson for five yards to convert third and one at the Kanab 37. Terry then ripped off a 30 yard run to put the Cowboys in North Sevier territory at the 33. Two Livingston runs and Kanab had another first down at the 23. After a five yard penalty on Kanab, Terry finished off the drive with a 28 yard reception. Terry made a beautiful adjustment on the throw and hauled it in at the goal line. The score, with 6:49 left in the third frame, capped a 95 yard drive and put Kanab ahead 14-0.

The Wolves returned the kickoff to midfield, giving them excellent field position. A Southwick corner blitz sacked the runner for a five yard loss on second and long, forcing a North Sevier punt one play later. After a three and out, North Sevier had the ball back on a Cowboy punt at the Kanab 44. Ray Corry and Stebbins stopped the North Sevier QB on a fourth and two and Kanab took over on downs at their own 37.

After another three and out, Kanab was forced to punt again. North Sevier took over on their own 32. After an 11 yard gain, defensive back Hayden Jones stole the ball from the Wolves receiver and Kanab had the ball on the 49. It took the Cowboys four plays to find the end zone, the score coming on a 23 yard pass from Jenson to Nielson. The big play on the drive was a 25 yard run by Southwick on a third and 15 to set up the touchdown pass on the next play. The score came with 10:58 left in he game to make it 21-0.

North Sevier started their only scoring drive on their own 32 yard line with 3:37 left in the game. Two runs by the Wolves QB netted 18 yards, then he com[pleted a pass for a 15 yard gain to the Cowboy 35. Later, facing a fourth and five, a seven yard pass play gave the Wolves a first down on the 23. Following a pass interference call, QB JOey Edwards scampered into the end zone on a quarterback draw from 11 yards out to score the Wolves only touchdown of the night with 1:08 left in the game.

Kanab had 239 yards of total offense (157 rushing, 82 passing) with 12 first downs. North Sevier totaled 153 yards (73 rushing, 80 passing) and 11 first downs.