Miners go from rout to rivalry
The score sounded so nice to the Miners last week against Richfield, they thought they would repeat it again on Friday when they headed up to Ogden to take on the Tigers.
"It’s really interesting when you look at," said Park City head coach Brandon Matich. "Our first two games were similar and our last two games were similar."
Playing against a team with 25 straight losses, the Miners easily manhandled the Tigers and racking up whopping 437 yards of total offense. Had it not been so windy on Friday night, Matich figured the Miners could have added a few more passing yards and touchdowns to the already lopsided stat sheet. A fumble recovery, interception and blocked punt were also part of the night.
But the spectacle of the preseason will stop abruptly this week. The Miners are preparing for the biggest night of their season as they open up the Region 10 schedule against perennial rival Judge Memorial.
"Whether you’re 4-0 or 0-4, you’re in the same boat. We start fighting for our playoff lives," Matich said.
Although the Miners are on the more positive 4-0 side of things, Matich says he still unsure of how well the team can do in region play. Luckily, a game as monumental as judge should help the Miners start off on the right foot.
"The game on Friday is the whole reason you play football," Matich said.
The historic rivalry should be even more heated this year. Both teams top Region 10 and feature big stars and even bigger wins. So, the competition should be evenly matched. The Bulldogs will bring quarterback Jaxon Myaer, tight end Cort Dennison and running back Dom Parker
to the table.
The Miners have their own piece of greatness in top-ranked rusher Jared Tew, who is running behind a very effective Park City offensive line.
Matich says that they will not focus on any one Bulldog player, rather he will look to focus on controlling the football and sustaining drives, as well as maintaining a psychological edge over Judge.
"It’s mostly mental," Matich said. "Athletically, we match up really well."
Another big focus is keeping the ball of out Myaer’s hands. Last week against Juan Diego, the quarterback opened the game with a 27-yard touchdown and finished the game with 152 yards on only eight carries, beating the Soaring Eagle 27-14.
"We’ve got to stop Jaxon and the rest will take care of itself," Matich said.
. The game will also serve as a bit of a homecoming for Matich. While Judge remodels its stadium, all home games are being played at the former Granite High School football field. Both of Matich’s parents are Granite graduates. His father was the student body president, his mother a cheerleader. He also had an uncle that played basketball and football at the school during its hey-day.
"It’s going to be fun for me to say that I was a part of that," Matich said. "It’s gonna be kind of neat to think my mom was a cheerleader on that field."
The somewhat neutral site should also add to the drama of the games. With neither team having a home advantage, Matich expects the battle to be that more intriguing and exciting. Although, he says his guys are always ready to play the Bulldogs anytime, any place, anywhere.
"I think our kids would play them in the parking lot," Matich laughed.
The rivalry will kick off on Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. at Granite High School in Salt Lake.
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