There was no hangover effect for the North Summit High School football team from Friday night's big win against South Summit.
Despite the short turnaround, suiting up again just five days after the stunning 26-24 victory, the Braves held off another tough team, traveling to Layton Christian and holding on for a 28-23 win.
North Summit coach Devin Smith said focusing on the task at hand was the team's mantra this week.
"We were concerned about this game because of what a great emotional win that was for us last week," he said. "As a staff, we spent most of our time Monday and Tuesday trying to hammer in the importance of Wednesday."
The result? A game that wasn't as crisp as Smith would have liked, but one that was good enough to give the Braves a chance at the region crown.
"We didn't play great," Smith said. "But the kids hung in there tough enough to give us a chance to win."
Junior quarterback Ryan McMichael turned in another good running performance, scrambling for two touchdowns on the afternoon. Senior running back Josh Birk also found the end zone on a three-yard run.
McMichael concluded the North Summit scoring in the fourth quarter with a long touchdown pass to junior receiver Carson Richins from more than 50 yards out.
But, after that touchdown pass put the Braves up 28-16 with less than two minutes remaining, Jack Chandler returned the ensuing kickoff 70 yards to make it 28-23.
"You can't help but think of the worst-case scenario in that moment," Smith said. "But our kickoff coverage has been great all year. I haven't lost any confidence in them."
North Summit recovered Layton Christian's onside kick attempt following the touchdown return. With Layton Christian out of timeouts, the Braves were able to run out the clock for the victory.
With a 7-2 overall record and a 5-1 mark in the 2A North region, the Braves can clinch a region title with a little help from their rivals.
South Summit (4-1 in region play, 7-1 overall) traveled to play Millard (4-1 in region play, 5-3 overall) on Friday night, after this issue went to press.
A Wildcat win would give the Braves a region title over Millard, the only team that has stopped North Summit in region play. A Millard win would send North Summit to the second spot in the North region.
No matter what happens, Smith is proud of the way his squad has obliterated expectations this season.
"I'm thrilled with what we've done so far in the regular season," he said. "Our kids have been confident all year. I don't think many people around the state thought we'd be where we are now. I'm just thrilled for our kids. It's exciting to be a part of as a coach."
But the Braves' work is far from over. North Summit will host a quarterfinal playoff game on either Friday, Nov. 1, or Saturday, Nov. 2. The playoff schedule has yet to be determined.
"I think we're going to try to get everybody healthy," Smith said. "We'll get a chance to let some bumps and bruises heal."
And, he added, they'll focus on making sure they don't regress during the long wait between games.
"We want to get better," he said. "But we're not going to change everything, either. We're going to focus on the things that got us here. It's never too late in the season to get better."