Miners clinch region title in final game
The Wasatch Wasps began their game against Park City by running onto the Miners’ field whooping and hollering with confidence.
That was all the ammunition the Miners needed to make a statement against the Wasps a 50-6 Park City win with the Wasps only touchdown coming with two minutes left in the game.
"They came out in the pregame and were a little disrespectful," said running back Dylan Chynoweth. "We just wanted to shut them up."
It is the third week in a row that the Miners throttled their opponent. The shutout against Judge three weeks ago seemed like a pleasant coincidence, but now the Miners have made runaway games a common occurence. To add to that, Park City used the running game that is so important to them.
"I think the difference is the kids are encouraged," said Park City head coach Brandon Matich.
He said the coaches began challenging the boys to play with passion before that Judge game and have been continuing the practice since. The team captains have picked up on the idea and have challenged the team to continue it for the rest of the season.
Chynoweth led the Miners with 20 carries for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Erik Walker was also able to get plenty done on the ground, including a 61-yard touchdown run to put the Miners on the board. Matich said it was thanks to the big guys in front.
"Our offensive line has been playing great," Matich said. "They’ve been getting off hard and low."
The Miners were also able to capitalize on the Wasps’ mistakes. In the first half, Tony Epperson recovered a fumble for a touchdown, and in the second, Blake Thorne blocked a Wasatch punt and ran the ball into the end zone.
"Our kids are playing with confidence," Matich said.
Even with everything working in their favor, the Miners were still surprised that the win came so easily. The Miners combined for a whopping 386 total yard of offense in the game. Matich said he had been preparing for a much tougher game. Walker agreed.
"We always think it’s going to be a battle with Wasatch," Walker said.
It was more than a grudge match for the Miners, though. Neck-in-neck with Union for the Region 10 title, the Miners had to beat Wasatch and Union had to lose in its game against Judge. The Bulldogs were able to help the Miners out, winning 41-18.
"We knew what was riding on this game," Chynoweth said. "We wanted to put it to them."
The football team is in good company as region champs for the first time in decades all of the Park City High School’s fall sport programs won their region championships.
The team will now have a 2 ½ week break before it takes to the gridiron again for the first round of the 3A state playoffs. The Miners had scheduled a game against a private school from Southern Utah this week but had to cancel it due to state sports regulations. Matich is a little concerned about the long layover and kept many of his starters n the field late into the Wasatch game in hopes of keeping them from getting rusty before their first-round playoff game. Walker said being ready shouldn’t be an issue.
"We played some good teams in the beginning to make us better," he said. "We did what we were supposed to do and now we’re rolling."
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