Miners storied season stymied
Not being ranked No. 1 throughout the regular season, or a 10-1 record or Jared Tew’s 1,800-plus rushing yards on the season can take the sting out of Saturday’s surprising 20-7 loss against Snow Canyon on Saturday at Dozier Field in the first round of the playoffs.
I can’t even tell you what it feels like," said the visibly emotional Park City head coach Brandon Matich.
Which is why it hurts so much for the Miners. Led by 18 seniors who believed from the fist day of practice that they were a family and a team of destiny, the team’s first loss turned out be the one that counted. Matich said that they were never the most talented team in 3A, but he knew they definitely wanted it the most.
"These kids took it seriously," Matich said. "Their closeness is what made them successful and what will make them successful in life."
And the Miners were successful right up until the first half of the game against the Warriors.
Matched up against a Snow Canyon team that was arguably a much better team than their No. 4 ranking in Region 9 suggested, the defense kept the Miners in check, but they still managed to make plays, scoring first on a Tew three-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Both teams marched each other up and down the field in the first half, and Snow Canyon soon answered back with a one-yard leap by Adam Timo into the endzone to tie the score, 7-7.
Timo’s talent was also a surprise. The sophomore running back tested the Miners defense racking up 133 yards rushing in the first half.
A botched hold on a Park City field goal to close out the half, kept the Miners from pulling ahead.
In the third quarter, the Miners went to their bread and butter, taking the team up the field on the heels of Tew. It was Park City football as it had been all year, until a determined Snow Canyon defender knocked the ball out of Tew’s hand on the 10-yard line. Minutes later, Warrior receiver Adam Groskruetz a turned a reception from quarterback Jaden Willard into a 62-yard touchdown. Outsized, height-wise, by Groskruetz and many other Warriors, the Miners struggled to stop the passing game. The Willard-Groskruetz duo would make the Miners pay once more on a 20-yard score in the fourth quarter.
On the other side of the ball, the Miners tried their best to get back in the endzone, patching together drives even into the last minute of the game. Both ers and Tew finished the night with over 100 yards of offense each, but somehow could not find a way to win as they had in countless other games all year. On the other side of the ball, the Warriors Willard wrapped up the game completing eight of 15 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns, Timo contributed 163 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns and Groskruetz caught six passes for 164 yards.
Although, the Miners exited the playoffs much earlier than expected, Matich still feels that they accomplished their goal for the season.
"These 18 kids that were seniors this year, truly believed that they were going to be the first, and they accomplished that in many ways this year," Matich said. "They created a culture within the team, the school and the community and they were the first to do that. Park City will get a state championship eventually and this team will have had a lot to do with it."
Matich will now to look to reload his senior-heavy team for a title run next year. He hopes that this year’s commitment to a winning attitude has already infected the underclassmen.
"These guys bred success," Matich said. "They are going to be hard to replace."
North Summit- The Braves easily earned their way to the 2A semi-finals with a 35-0 shutout of Gunnison in Coalville on Saturday. They finished the afternoon with 133 yards rushing and 165 yards passing. They will face San Juan on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Juan Diego High School.
South Summit- The Wildcats finished a winning 6-5 season with a 13-7 playoff loss to Millard on Friday.
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