North Summit football team ends Duchesne’s streak
Ryan Summerlin September 2, 2014
On Aug. 29, the North Summit Braves held on for a narrow 14-12 victory over the Eagles, ending Duchesne’s 48-game winning streak that spanned four years and two days.
The Eagles’ last loss came on Aug. 27, 2010, at the hands of South Summit High School.
Playing in Duchesne, the Braves’ road to victory wasn’t easy, but a stout defensive effort outweighed the struggles of the offense to give North Summit its second win of the season.
North Summit coach Devin Smith said his players were very aware of Duchesne’s winning streak, having been on the losing side of a 21-7 game against the Eagles in Coalville last season.
"It was a lot of fun," he said. "Our kids were really excited. That was an important game to them. It was a fight, but it was fun to get the win."
That being said, Smith wasn’t happy with the turnovers that plagued the Braves throughout the game.
"It was pretty frustrating," he said. "As the game wore on, we had three turnovers in the red zone in the first half and another in the second half. As the game grew tighter, it would have been good to have that bigger cushion."
The defense had an outstanding effort, though, he added. In the first quarter, the Braves forced a safety to make the score 2-0. Then, in the third quarter, with the Eagles pinned deep in their own territory, Mason Richins made the play that would prove to be the difference.
"They were running a screen play," Smith said. "Their quarterback was waiting for it to develop, but we had a defensive end putting pressure on him. The throw landed in Mason’s lap. It was a good heads up play and he ran seven or eight yards for the touchdown."
The offense’s one shining moment had come earlier in the third quarter, when North Summit quarterback Ryan McMichael found Cason Deforest on a fade route. Deforest then made his way to the end zone to complete a big 75-yard play.
"It was a good ball and he made a good catch," Smith said.
By overcoming all the costly turnovers, Smith said, the Braves showed what they were made of on Friday night in a tough environment.
"I think our kids showed a ton of character," he said. "There were times when we could have broken down and relented, especially with the turnovers. But we didn’t we kept fighting."
With a 2-0 record, Smith said, the Braves are confident heading into the rest of the season. But, he added, it’s important that they don’t become complacent.
"I know we have room to improve," he said. "We don’t like to turn the ball over, but we can work on correcting those mistakes. We’re going to work on taking care of the football. That’s generally the difference in close games."
Next, North Summit takes on Gunnison (1-1), a team that likes to throw the ball more than most other 2A teams.
"I know they have some returning linemen, but they lost a lot of their skill guys from last year," Smith said. "They also lost their coach that was responsible for that ‘air raid’ offense, but they’re still running it. We’ve got to be able to defend the pass. We’ll work on mixing coverages up to give their quarterback some different looks."
Friday’s game will be played at Gunnison, starting at 7 p.m.