Miners driven from playoffs in a third rematch | ParkRecord.com

Miners driven from playoffs in a third rematch

Jen Watkins, Of the Record staff

It was a valiant effort by the Park City High School football team but it wasn’t enough as the Miners were eliminated from the playoffs by a 24-19 loss to the Hurricane Tigers on Friday, Nov. 13, at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

"These seniors have given their hearts and souls to Park City football," assistant coach Nate Brown said. "It’s going to hurt for a while, but they should be very proud of their accomplishments."

The Miners have faced the Tigers in the last three semifinal games. This is the Miners’ second consecutive loss.

The Miners started the first quarter with a fierce offense and two quick touchdowns by running backs Mat Christensen and Dylan Chynoweth. But the Miners lost control of the game after two failed two-point conversions, and the Tigers defense effectively shut down the run the Miners have relied on all year. Chynoweth’s first 43-yard run gave the Miners hope but he was unable to get anything more than 15 yards at a time after the first quarter after being targeted by the Tigers defense.

The Miners struggled in the second and third quarter to take back the game as they failed to capitalize on several fumbles made by the Tigers.

"We came out very strong," Brown said, "and then struggled in the second quarter defensively. Our halftime goal was to stop and score."

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The Miners made a comeback in the fourth quarter and nearly took advantage of another fumble by the Tigers. With about two minutes left in the game, the Miners recovered on their 5-yard line and drove the ball to the 45 but were unable to score the go-ahead touchdown.

"We played an awesome second half and just couldn’t get another score to take the lead," Brown said. "Our kids fought to the end even as we forced a fumble and needed a 95-yard drive to win. We just fell short today."

Chynoweth had 23 carries for 131 yards and 1 touchdown. Quarterback Erik Walker had 12 carries for 70 yards and six completions for 93 yards. Christensen led the team with tackles.

The Tigers will face Juan Diego in the state championship game on Nov. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Rice-Eccles Stadium.