Maybe last week's 26-24 home loss to archrival North Summit was just what the South Summit High School football team needed.
Though losing a big rivalry game is never ideal, the Wildcats bounced back on Thursday night, crushing a tough Millard team 43-0 on the road.
Everything was clicking for South Summit, coach Jerry Parker said.
"It was nice the kids played really well," he said. "We went to work. They did their assignments and we just played hard."
Parker said he'd rather still be undefeated, but added that the Wildcats seemed determined and focused to get back on track after the loss.
"I'm not one to subscribe to the saying that you need to lose to learn a lesson," he said. "I think our kids were just refocused anyway."
The Wildcats scored two touchdowns in each of the first three quarters and forced a safety in the first period. Senior Carson Freestone had a 38-yard touchdown run to start the scoring and junior Colby Averett scored his first of three touchdowns on a two-yard rush.
In the second quarter, Averett scored on another two-yard run and senior Keyton Gines added a one-yard score to give the Wildcats a 29-0 halftime advantage. Averett caught a one-yard pass from junior quarterback Ty Jones to start the second-half scoring and Jones scampered into the end zone from 14 yards out to conclude South Summit's rout.
Parker said that even though Jones only ran three times on Thursday night, the quarterback had a fantastic game.
"Ty Jones played his best game of the year," he said. "He was outstanding. He was the general out there and took what the defense gave us."
Parker also had high praise for Averett, who has been one of the team's rocks this year.
"It was another stellar game for him," he said. "He's played well all year. It's the yards after contact where he's effective. What an asset he is for our team."
Defensively, the Wildcats got back to what they do best completely shutting down opponents' strengths.
"They were stellar this game," Parker said. "We came after them. I think they had five first downs and two of them were on our penalties."
Parker would like to see his team cut down on penalties, something he said will be a focus during practice this week.
"We'll concentrate on making them realize penalties in certain situations can really hurt," he said. "But, more than anything, we've got to figure out how to keep the kids hungry."
The Wildcats have some time off before their first playoff date. First, American Leadership Academy and Summit Academy will square off to see which team gets to play San Juan. Then, the Wildcats will face the winner of that game in Kamas on either Nov. 1 or Nov. 2.
Parker said the Wildcats will happily take on any team, anywhere, but added that facing off against San Juan would be an interesting matchup.
"They're struggling a little bit this year," he said. "But South Summit has never beaten them. So we're not going to take them lightly."