RANDOLPH — It was a warm, sunny day and vehicles lined the hillside on the east side of the Rich Rebel field. The stands were packed and even more fans sat in lawn chairs or on blankets on the home team’s sideline. The cheerleaders were spirited and led the crowd in non-stop fashion but the hometown elements were not enough to help lift the Rich Rebels to victory last Friday, as the visiting Kanab Cowboys picked up a 40-0 win over the Rebels in the season-opening football game for both teams in Randolph.
The Cowboys scored early and often, reaching the endzone on four of its first five possessions to lead 13-0 at the end of the first quarter and 27-0 at intermission.
Kanab quarterback Sam Orton threw for four touchdowns and ran for another in the lopsided win for the southern Utah team, which traveled over 400 miles north to face the Rebels in a game that kicked off at 4 p.m.
The Rebels had a chance to score beginning with about eight minutes left in regulation at the Kanab 3-yard line but the Cowboys stopped the Rebels on three consecutive goal-to-goal running plays. A fourth and goal passing attempt was picked off in the endzone and returned to midfield by the Cowboys. Rich put together another promising drive on its final possession but that too was thwarted by a Kanab interception.
The Cowboys amassed 301 yards, unofficially, with 138 yards in passing and 163 yards on the ground. Rich had two snaps that sailed over the head of signal-caller Stetson Huffaker, which accounted for a negative 38 yards, but the Rebels would finish with -32 yards, unofficially, in total offense for the game.
The Cowboys avenged a loss from last season when the Rebels picked up a 28-14 home win on Sept. 29, one of two wins for the Rebels on the gridiron in 2018. Both teams were Class 1A member schools last season and are competing in the newly-realigned Class 2A North and South divisions this fall. The Kanab roster of 53 players is almost double the 30 listed for Rebel football.
The Rebels will attempt to right the ship this Friday, Aug. 30, when the team travels to the north side of Bear Lake for a showdown with the Bear Lake Bears in Montpelier, Idaho. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.