The North Summit football team dug itself an early 21-0 hole in the first half on Friday night in its home opener against Duchesne, one that it couldn't climb out of en route to a 21-7 loss.
North Summit coach Devin Smith said things might have turned out differently if the Braves had managed to hold on to the ball in a couple key first-half situations.
"We played with them, with the exception that we made more mistakes than they did," he said. "Our offensive yardage was really close to theirs. I thought we were pretty even."
But, because of the offensive mistakes, the Braves couldn't get on the scoreboard until the fourth quarter, when junior quarterback Ryan McMichael connected on a four-yard touchdown pass with Cameron Smith.
Devin Smith said he's happy with the way the passing game has worked for the Braves this season.
"Ryan's obviously doing a good job," he said. "And we've got guys doing a good job catching it and our line's giving us plenty of time to throw it. We're consciously focusing on the passing game this year too."
He added that the team's overall offensive philosophy hasn't changed, though.
"We're still a run-first team," he said. "But I think that having the ability to throw it as part of the game plan makes the defense a little bit more on their heels."
Smith said the Braves will focus on getting the run game back on track and focus on limiting turnovers in practice this week.
"We've just got to keep working to get better," he said. "Taking care of the football is an important part of that."
North Summit (1-1) will host its homecoming game this Friday night against Gunnison. Smith said Gunnison has one of the best passing attacks the Braves will see this season.
"They throw it pretty well," he said. "They have a quarterback who's pretty good at airing it out. They also have a unique defensive look that you don't see very often."
He added that staying focused during homecoming week will be the key to success.
"It's homecoming week and we're aware of that," he said. "But I told the kids on Friday night after our loss that the most important thing they'll do amidst all the activities this week is play in the football game on Friday night."
There, the Braves will try to open their region season with a victory.
"It's a huge game," Smith said. "It's our first region game and we need to rebound. Our kids need to be hungry this week."