After losing to Millard at home on Sept. 20 by a score of 10-0, the North Summit High School football team found itself facing a 7-0 deficit after one quarter in South Sevier on Friday night.
But, even in the frustrating face of adversity, the Braves stayed calm and eventually righted the ship, scoring a touchdown in each of the final three quarters to claim a 21-7 victory.
Rushing touchdowns by running backs Trevor Hale and Josh Birk and quarterback Ryan McMichael gave the Braves the edge they needed to improve to 4-2 on the season.
North Summit coach Devin Smith said having a team that can bounce back from the adversity it faced last week is a really good sign.
"Any time you have a disappointing loss, you want to make it better as soon as you can," he said. "That was our goal and we were able to do it."
He added that going on the road, especially as far away as South Sevier, isn't easy after a home loss, but the Braves weren't affected by the excess travel.
"They take so many long road trips, I don't think it bothers them," he said. "I think our kids were hungry. I was disappointed and they were also disappointed with our Millard performance. They were all anxious to get back on the field."
Even with the 7-0 first quarter deficit, Smith said there was no panic on the North Summit sideline.
"I knew we were playing well," he said. "Both teams ran quite a bit and that chews up the clock. The first quarter seemed really short, but we had moved the ball well up to that point and I knew we were going to get it in the end zone.
He also said he had confidence in the defense's ability to get a few key stops.
"They scored on a broken coverage by our defense, which happens," he said. "But our defense is playing really well right now. They've got a bend, don't break mentality, which is great."
Perhaps most importantly, however, the Braves held onto the football. After being plagued by fumbles for most of the season, Smith said the one turnover North Summit had on Friday night was a fluke.
"We're still going to make holding onto the ball a focal point at practice," he noted. "But the only turnover we had was on a punt return. One of our guys was blocking downfield, it hit him in the back and [South Sevier] recovered."
Smith said the Braves will keep working on the little things in practice this week and will keep things simple offensively.
"We're just going to keep getting better at what we're doing now," he said. "It's taken us a little bit of time to find our identity, and that's just as much my fault as it is anyone's. So, rather than adding to the playbook and making things more complex, we'll focus on being able to execute our meat and potatoes plays, which is vital at our level."
The Braves will head back home this week to host American Leadership Academy. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Coalville.