It was a tale of two halves for the Park City High School football team on Thursday night at Dozier Field.
After battling their way to a 13-6 lead and only trailing Bear River 14-13 at halftime, the Miners were outscored 48-0 in the second half en route to a 62-13 loss.
Junior quarterback/safety Ian Moritz, who scored the first Miner touchdown on a two yard run and found senior receiver Alec Wing in the end zone on a crucial fourth-and-10 for the second, was unavailable for the second half because of concussion symptoms.
Park City coach Mike Shepherd said the team's lack of depth showed when Moritz went down.
"It's blatantly obvious just how important he is to us," he said. "We really don't have anybody to replace him."
Park City also didn't have an answer for Bear River senior quarterback JarDee Nesson or senior running back Jeremie Selman. While Selman was racking up two touchdown runs and chewing up the clock with his steady, effective ground game, Nesson torched the Miner secondary to the tune of five touchdown passes.
The Miners' fortunes turned in the third quarter. After a Bear River touchdown pass, the Bears intercepted a pass. Nesson then threw another touchdown pass. Immediately following that play, the Bears recovered an onside kick and Nesson threw his third touchdown pass of the quarter, making the score 35-13.
Before the third period was over, Bear River would intercept another Park City pass and Nesson would toss another TD to make the score 42-13, effectively putting the game out of reach.
Overall, Shepherd said, the Miners simply played disappointing football in the last two quarters.
"Quite frankly, a number of our players gave up tonight and that's very disappointing," he said. "We need to find players who will go full speed on every single play."
Coming off a three-game region winning streak, Shepherd said he hopes this game is an anomaly and doesn't become a regular occurrence.
"I'd love to say there's something we can learn from this," he said. "But unless the kids are willing to do everything they're supposed to at full speed, there is no teaching. That's part of the problem. You can't play the game for the kids; all you can do is prepare them."
This week's focus in practice will be maintaining the level of play the Miners showed in the first half over the duration of a full game.
"In the first half, we played strong football. We played smart football," Shepherd said. "In the second half, I have no idea what happened, but obviously we weren't mentally or physically with it."
With Stansbury coming to town Wednesday night and a date at Juan Diego next Friday, the road ahead is daunting.
"It's only going to get harder," Shepherd said. "Our next two games are our two toughest opponents. If we're going to give up 60 to this team, I have no idea what's going to happen next week."
Park City (3-5 overall, 3-1 region) hosts Stansbury at Dozier Field on Wednesday, Oct. 15. The game is set to kickoff at 7 p.m.