The Wildcats, who average over 41 points per game, did their average four touchdowns better in a 69-7 rout of the visiting Gunnison Bulldogs on Senior Night in Kamas. Only 4A Herriman (387) and 5A Jordan (372) have scored more points than South Summit (371) at this point in the season.
"We've scored a lot of points with a lot of different people," said South Summit head coach Jerry Parker.
On Friday night against the Bulldogs, the Wildcats had nine different players on the score sheet as seven scored touchdowns and two kickers sailed extra points through the uprights. In total, South Summit found the end zone 10 times.
And, ironically, it was the youngsters who stole the spotlight from the seniors on Senior Night early on as sophomore Colby Averett rushed for 107 yards and one touchdown on 10 carries, while junior Keyton Gines pitched in 83 yards rushing and two touchdowns on four carries. The South Summit ground attack had a marathon night against the Gunnison defense, as junior quarterback Caden Christenson rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown on five carries, while backup sophomore quarterback Ty Jones rushed for 70 yards on three carries. Junior Carson Freestone added a 3-yard rushing touchdown.
Seniors Hayden Packard and Porter Santos combined for four touchdowns in the runaway victory, while senior linebacker Jay Reidhead returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown.
By the time halftime rolled around, the Wildcats already held a 55-7 lead over the Bulldogs and Parker pulled his starters before the second quarter ended.
"Those games are hard. You worry about not embarrassing the other team, about making sure all the kids play and making sure nobody gets hurt, and then you try to keep your edge," Parker said. "Our younger kids, when they get in there, they're hungry. They want it. They're not just satisfied getting a few downs. They want to score.
"You want your kids to perform. I don't want to run (the score) up, but I'm not going to tell them to fall down."
The win ensured South Summit (7-2 overall, 5-1 in region play) of finishing second overall in the 2A North and with a first-round bye in the 2A state playoffs. The Wildcats will face the winner of the North Summit-Richfield first-round matchup this Friday in Richfield.
"It's kind of a double-edge sword," he said. "It's nice to have that bye to get healthy, but then you have to knock the rust off and you have to play a team that played a week before. I don't know if it's all that advantageous."
The march toward another 2A state championship starts for the Wildcats either Friday, Oct. 26, or Saturday, Oct. 27, at Wildcat Stadium, depending on the opponent and how the games are scheduled.
But despite a high-flying regular season, Parker said a new season starts for the team when the football is kicked into the air in the 2A quarterfinal in Kamas.
"More than anything, I want them to understand that we have an opportunity to do something special," he said. "The opportunity comes and it goes, and now that it's here, we have to seize the moment."