Down to Business
November 10, 2009
It was a bittersweet win for the Park City High School varsity football team. defeating Delta 21-14 at home on Nov. 6, the Miners will advance in the playoffs to face Hurricane. But it was the closest-scoring game the Miners have had all year since losing to Juan Diego in the preseason. For the Miners, it was a wake-up call.
"It was a slap in the face," coach Brandon Matich said. "(Delta) outplayed us Friday, there’s no question about it."
Matich said one offensive error after another kept the Miners from scoring the points fans are used to seeing.
"We’ve got to hold onto the football," he said. "We had a bunch (of turnovers). We couldn’t get plays going. Couldn’t get the snap so we were unable to run the option. We were unable to throw because we were battling the ball. Our kids played hard at the end but, overall, we’ve got to play a better game."
It was an unusual performance for the offensive line on a team that broke the Utah overall leading single-season rushing record during the Delta game. Running back Dylan Chynoweth now has over 2,000-yards rushing for the season.
Assistant coach Nate Brown said many of the Miners’ errors are correctable, such as false starts, illegal procedures, delay of game and jumping offsides.
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"There’s no time for those mistakes this late in the season," he said. "We’re playing too good of teams to have those mistakes. It was the kind of game we hadn’t had all year in terms of not meeting our potential. We’ve been on all cylinders and we kind of hit a little speed bump. The entire game was uncharacteristic of our team."
Both Brown and Matich gave credit to Delta for forcing the Miners to fight for the win.
"Delta was the closest challenge we’ve had in a while," Brown said.
Matich said Delta was a better team in the playoffs than during the regular season when the Miners defeated Delta 41-17.
"They’ve changed players around," he said. "They grew as a team. You have a young group of guys that gain more and more confidence as the season goes on. That’s a dangerous thing (for us). Combine that with (the fact that) we did beat them pretty bad the first time."
Despite the close win, Matich said there were outstanding players in the game, including Chynoweth who made all three of the Miners’ touchdowns. He also described left guard Matt Jones, defensive back Andy Proctor and defensive lineman Dillon Olsen as "warriors" on Friday. Kicker Keenan Ward converted all three PATs.
"Our kids show resiliency and good teams find ways to win," he said. "I like my guys, I like this team. They have state champion potential."
He said the Miners will have to step it up before they play the Region 9 champions, Hurricane, on Nov. 13.
"This Friday is going to be a tough, tough game," he said. "Hurricane is a very good football team."
While both Hurricane and Park City both have the tendency to run the ball, Matich said the teams are very different.
"Offensively they’re a wing T and shotgun sometimes," he said. "They do a lot of deception, a lot of sweeps. We run primarily triple and midline and a lot of play-action pass."
He said Hurricane is a fast team with enough players to look more like a 5A school than a 3A school.
"They can substitute a lot of kids at a time because they have the numbers," he said. "They are the fastest team we’ll play all year. They’ve got a lot of fast athletes, a lot of big guys. They’re well coached. They’re very aggressive. They’re physical."
Matich said the key to defeating Hurricane will be to shut down the run and block their linebackers.
Brown said he believes the game will end with a close score, within a touchdown either way.
"You’ll see both teams fighting until the end," he said. "Whoever’s the most physical team will probably win."
Hurricane Tigers’ coach Chris Homer said that although the Tigers defeated the Miners last year in the playoffs, he is equally nervous about the upcoming game.
"(The Miners) have consistently been the best team all year," he said. "We know we’ve got our work cut out for us."
Homer said he wouldn’t be as nervous had the Tigers not lost to St. George rival Desert Hills two weeks ago.
"We lost to a team we shouldn’t have lost to," he said. "I don’t feel like Park City has really had a letdown like we did. Maybe (Delta) was their let down and they still won. Delta scared them for sure."
While Homer is confident in his team, he said he is equally as confident in Matich.
"I see his program as one of the best," Homer said of Matich. "In some ways, we do run different offenses, but we’re both trying to accomplish the same thing. We are a lot alike if you look at our running backs."
Homer said at this point in the season, either both teams will be ready or they won’t.
"Practices are kind of a formality," he said. "We’re not going to be in any better shape this week. We’re not going to do anything different. It’s more of a maintenance thing this week."
The Miners face the Tigers at Rice-Eccles Stadium at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 13. Both KPCW and http://www.totalutahpreps.com will be airing the game live. The winner of the Park City/Hurricane game will qualify for the 3A state championship game against the winner of the Wasatch/Juan Diego game, which takes place at Rice-Eccles at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12.
Erik Walker 3 completions, 5 attempts, 32 yards
Dylan Chynoweth 23 carries, 283 yards, 3 TDs
Erik Walker 13 carries, 31 yards
Andy Proctor 2 receptions, 19 yards
Alex Molinaro 1 reception, 13 yards