It didn't take long for the Park City High School football team to establish its dominance on Friday night at Dozier Field.
Taking on a team from Preston, Idaho, the Miners scored early and often en route to a 32-14 victory.
After receiving the opening kickoff, the Miners marched down the field, culminating in a five-yard touchdown run by senior Josh Pelegrin. Junior Grayson Maddux added a two-point conversion to make it 8-0 Park City before the Indians had even touched the ball.
On Park City's next possession, it was Maddux's turn to score a touchdown. His seven-yard run made the score 14-0.
On the ensuing Preston possession, senior Bjorn Bornes, playing in his first game for Park City, snagged an interception, stopping the Indians' momentum.
The blistering first half wasn't over for the Miners just yet. At the start of the second quarter, senior quarterback Ian Moritz found junior Harrison Fugate with an 11-yard touchdown pass, making it 20-0 Park City. On the next possession, Moritz shoveled the ball to sophomore Jonas Loyens from four yards out for another touchdown. On Preston's final first-half possession, senior Preston Cervantes snagged Park City's second interception of the night, securing the Miners' 26-0 halftime advantage.
Moritz started the second half by making an acrobatic interception, Park City's third of the night. A couple plays later, Moritz sprinted 75 yards into the end zone to increase the Miners' lead to 32-0.
"That was such a fun play," Moritz said.
As the game wore on, Preston's offense finally started gaining some momentum, cutting Park City's lead to 32-14 before time expired. Park City coach Mike Shepherd said he would have liked to have seen his defense preserve the shutout, but added that it was a solid overall performance.
"We played really well," he said. "I would say we played great if we didn't have these little lulls.
"You never know what the other team is going to do. Preston came out and actually played a pretty good half against us in the second half. We'll take what we did well and try to remember it and we'll take what we didn't do that well and try to learn from it."
Shepherd said he was happy with the way Park City's running backs were pounding the football at the Indians' defense all night.
"They're all good in their own way," he said of Moritz, Pelegrin, Maddux and Loyens. "The key to it, though, is if our offensive line is able to block. For the most part, we blocked really well. Those [running backs] are all great athletes. If they get a chance to break into the second and third levels, who knows what will happen? We just need to block well enough to let them get to that second level and let them be athletes at that point."
Moritz was also complimentary of the offensive line play, saying it was the best performance he's seen in a while.
"Everything was working tonight," he said. "The line killed it they did a great job. There were a couple times they let some guys through, but they killed it overall."
Winning the home opener sets a strong tone for the season, Moritz added. The Miners only get to play four regular-season games at home, so it's important to make them count.
"It's great," he said. "Nothing is better than coming out and winning a home opener. It gets our fans motivated to come out to our games. It feels so great to win on our home field."
The win was also the 400th victory in the history of Park City High School football. Both Shepherd and Moritz said they were glad to be a part of it.
"I've known that for a little while, but I haven't mentioned it at all," Shepherd said. "It's just one of those things. Honestly, this has been a legacy at Park City for over 100 years now, so 400 wins is pretty incredible. There aren't many high schools in Utah with 400 wins."
"It's an honor to be a part of such a great program," Moritz added. "Park City has a great history in football and hopefully we'll be the ones who help turn it back around."
Park City is now 1-1 on the season. Facing three straight road games, Shepherd said the home win should help the team stay focused in the coming weeks.
"It should give us a lot of confidence," he said. "The kids are going to be enthused, so we should have another pretty good week of practice."
"We just have to keep getting better every week like we did this week," Moritz added. "We have to keep working hard every day at practice and move on to the next game against Judge next week."
Park City will square off against former Region 10 rival Judge Memorial on Friday night. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff in Salt Lake City.