Miners continue to roll in region with Uintah win
Looks like the old Miners are back.
After a few starts and stops earlier in the season, the Park City High School football team is now on a roll in regular-season play with a shutout of Judge last week and a decisive 48-21 victory over Uintah on Thursday night.
And beyond the numbers, the Miners looked to have the energy and excitement that has been synonymous with Park City football the last few years.
"We’re playing with heart and passion. We just need to maintain that," said Park City head coach Brandon Matich.
The Park City scoring started almost immediately. On the first series of the game, Erik Walker was able to intercept Uintah quarterback Austin McCauley and run the ball back 30 yards for the touchdown. A little bit later, running back Dylan Chynoweth got in on the act, running 66 yards for another touchdown. Then, Tony Epperson kicked off the second quarter with a nine-yard touchdown on a pitch play.
The Miners were rolling.
Although Park City was outsized by the big and physical Uintah team, the Utes were unable to stop the Miners or create much offense of their own.
A total of seven Miners were able to score touchdowns, but the man of the night was Matt Christenson, who made his first legitimate impact on a varsity game with a touchdown in the second quarter.
It took two tries, but he did it.
Christenson first punched the ball up the middle for a touchdown that was called back. A quick chat with Matich and Christenson was back on the field and running off tackle to the corner for another touchdown that counted.
"I took my opportunities and ran with them," Christenson. "It feels really good."
Christenson said that the difference these last two weeks has been the team’s heart. He said the players sort of lost sight of their passion after a couple of losses but after the coaching staff challenged them to regain it, they have done their best to play with the old fire. Matich said he owes a lot of the team’s passion in the Uintah game to Christenson, who didn’t play in two of the team’s past losses.
"Having Matt in the game it just makes us better," he said. "He has swagger and attitude and they fed off of that."
One big difference for the Miners compared to all of the previous games is that they were finally able to play a turnover-free game. The Utes, on the other hand, were not so lucky. The Miners were able to capitalize on Uintah’s mistakes all evening, turning a few into scores.
The Utes finally were able to score a few touchdowns at the end of the game when the Miners’ bench came in to give the starters a rest.
The Miners now have just a few days to recover and regroup before playing their final region game against Wasatch on Wednesday night. Forced to play earlier because of the Utah Education Association (UEA) weekend, the Miners will practice over the weekend in order to be ready to face their biggest rival midweek. Wasatch is another big team and boasts some talented players at the skill positions, so the Miners should have their hands full. The game will start at 7 p.m. at Park City High School.
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