Big first half pushes Miners past Morgan
Standing inside the Morgan High School gym on Friday night trying to dry off and warm up, Park City High School head football coach Brandon Matich lamented that his team had yet to play on grass this season when it wasn’t sloppy and wet.
But maybe there is karma in playing in muddy messes, as the Miners handled another tough Region 10 team, beating the Morgan Trojans, 18-15, to put them at 8-0 and remain the only undefeated team in 3A.
"This team knows how to overcome adversity," Matich said.
Still, with two games left in the regular season, Matich is hungry for more.
"It feels good that we haven’t peaked yet," Matich said.
According to Matich, the game win was the first time in many years that the Miners have grabbed a win on the Trojans home turf.
The Miners built their game on a strong first half, scoring three touchdowns in a row before the Trojans could get on the scoreboard.
Moments after the opening kickoff, Park City scored on a 10-yard run by Jared Tew. A fake punt by Tew at the end of the first half set the Miners up for their second touchdown, which quarterback Andy ers ran in on a quarterback keeper five minutes into the second quarter.
Minutes later, a blocked punt by Park City’s Russell Kersey and recovery by Nick Vought resulted in another Park City touchdown. The Miners tried for two-point conversions on all three scores, but penalties and missed opportunities kept the Miners from adding six more points to the 18-0 score.
Three minutes before halftime, Morgan answered on a 19-yard touchdown reception from Alex Blazzard to Bryton Smith, closing out the half 18-7.
In the second half, penalties and rainy conditions kept the Miners out of the endzone. The Trojans managed another score on a one-yard run by Kale Watkins, but turnovers and penalties kept them from catching the Miners. Both teams threatened to score during the waning moments of the game, but a series of calls stymied both teams.
"They tried to take away our aggressiveness, but they didn’t take our hearts," Matich said.
The Miners also had to abort their usual plan of running the ball outside with Jared Tew.
"It was hard to run and cut and my whole game is cutting," Tew said.
Still, Tew managed 142 yards rushing on 22 carries, just under his average.
Senior Matt Govin re-injured his right shoulder on the second defensive play of the game for the Miners. Trainers tried to pull Govin out for the rest of the game, but after a talk with Byers, Govin insisted on playing with pain and limited motion.
"This is the biggest game of the year. It’s not fair to the players if I come out," Govin said. "Andy told me to push through it."
Matich said that besides winning, Govin’s heart was the best part of the night.
"He played his tail off," Matich said.
The Miners are now preparing for their last non-league game, against 4A Lehi. Although the Pioneers have yet to win this season, Matich says that the Miners need to be prepared for a bigger and stronger team. Matich plans to play his usual starting varsity lineup, even if it means risking injury right before playoffs.
"We’ll put out varsity," Matich said. "If we don’t, we won’t have a chance."
They are also adjusting to a short week, because of the Utah Education Association break, which means the game will be played Wednesday night.
The Miners host Lehi on Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. at Dozier Field.
South Summit- The Delta Rabbits held the Wildcats scoreless on Friday night, 6-0. Next game South Summit at American Leadership academy on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m.
North Summit- The Braves were able to silence No. 1 ranked 2A Juab on Friday night. Dallin Donaldson led North Summit with 172 yards on 21 carries. Nathaniel Richins earned 69 yards on 21 carries. Next game Juab at Grand on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m.
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