Eagles rout ‘Cats in rematch | ParkRecord.com

Eagles rout ‘Cats in rematch

Patrick Parkinson, of the Record staff

The rematch wasn’t pretty.

Wildcats in South Summit were hungry for victory after losing to Millard 13-7 at last year’s Class 2-A quarterfinals. But before their rival gridiron counterpart in Coalville earned a spot in next weekend’s 2-A championship game, football season ended sourly for the ‘Cats at a semifinal matchup Saturday in Draper.

"I honestly feel like we finished the year one game short," South Summit coach Jerry Parker said after his team lost 31-0.

The more athletic Millard Eagles wasted no time scoring after Grant Barber intercepted a pass early on from senior South Summit quarterback Conor Peterson. In minutes, Millard running back Zack Wilcox had pushed the ball in the end zone from the second-yard line.

A two-point conversion quickly made the score 8-0. And the undefeated Eagles didn’t look back.

The start allowed Millard to dominate the game and sail seemingly effortlessly to rout the ‘Cats, who had lost just one game going into the playoffs.

"I really thought it would be much closer," Millard coach Marshall Sheriff said. "I don’t think we played too awful outstandingly."

But Eagles running back Clancy Mortensen scored three touchdowns and rushed for more than 110 yards.

"[Mortensen] has really been playing well," Sheriff said.

The coach also credited his defense, which kept star Wildcats running back Brayden Stembridge, a senior, from crossing the goal line. Millard’s beefy defensive line held South Summit to about 100 yards.

This season, South Summit was expected to be one of Millard’s most difficult opponents. Instead, the Wildcats performance was inspired.

"If you have to take one on the chin, I’d rather it be close," Parker said. "These blowouts are miserable."

Parker hoped this year’s title game would be a repeat of the 1978 state championship when South Summit defeated the North Summit High School Braves.

"We just showed up flat," Parker said.

Penalties and turnovers told the story, he said, adding that it was often "first down and 15" for the Wildcats.

"It was a domino effect," Parker said, adding that Wildcat mistakes led to Millard touchdowns. "It was a combination of everything."

moving Stembridge from the back field to the wing, Parker said he hoped to rip defenders away from his 213-pound star rusher.

"We were in shock," the coach said.

On videotape, Millard didn’t appear a powerhouse, Parker said. But on five plays South Summit gave up about 155 yards, he explained.

"We had not given up that much yardage all year," Parker lamented.

‘Cats lineman Brandon Smith weighs 255 pounds and was replaced by much smaller boys when he left the game with an elbow injury in the first half.

"We felt like we had a great shot at them. Nerves just got to us," Parker said, partly blaming substitution penalties for the setback. "Millard caused a lot of it."

Overall, the officiating was good, Parker said.

"I thought they let Millard get away with a few things," the coach said.

Next year, Parker said he expects two players on offense and four on defense to return to the team.

"But we don’t have one person over 200 pounds," the coach said.

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