Mites to play for title |

Mites to play for title

Ryan Tibbitts, For the Record

The Park City Mity Mite Continental football team advanced to the conference championship game by defeating West Jordan 21-7 in the first round of the playoffs on a windy day Saturday at Copper Hills.

The victory brings the Miners’ record to 10-0 with only the title game remaining on the schedule.

The game against West Jordan was a hard-fought victory that could have gone either way until late in the game.

Park City opened up the scoring in the first quarter with its own version of the so-called "Holy Roller" play made famous by the Oakland Raiders years ago.

In the Mity Mite version of the play, Miner fullback Jonas Loyens was on a potential touchdown run for Park City. As he approached the goal line, he put a move on the Jaguar defense, but lost the handle on the football in the process.

The ball bounced into the end zone where Miner receiver Alec Olsen had his hands on the ball for a split-second. Then it slipped out of Olsen’s hands and rolled by a couple of Jaguar defenders where Loyens caught up with it again and pounced on it for the touchdown.

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Miner running back Ben Butcher sprinted around the left end for the extra point.

Both offenses had some trouble moving the ball as the gusting wind played a factor in the passing game.

Near the end of the second quarter, Miner quarterback McCoy Tibbitts found receiver Jack Loyens wide open on a corner route and Loyens raced into the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown. Jonas Loyens bulled his way in for the extra point and the half ended with Park City ahead 14-0.

The Park City line of Ray Kinsman, Gavin Schenk, Ethan Hoogeveen, Connor Keizer and Chris Krebs paved the way for runners Loyens, Butcher, Olsen, Tibbitts, Cy Coleman and Maclane Vipond to make huge runs from scrimmage throughout the game. Mark Vausbinder, Noah Potts, Jack Dalton, Chance Denison, and Liam O’Neill contributed to the victory on defense and special teams.

West Jordan scored in the third quarter on a sustained drive to get within striking distance at 14-7.

The outcome remained in doubt until cornerback Cy Coleman grabbed his second interception of the day and sprinted into the end zone for a 20-yard return in what appeared to be a "pick six" an interception returned for a touchdown.

However, somewhere in the process, a Miner made what one official thought was an illegal block. Ten minutes later, the officials were still arguing with one another on what happened and whether it was a touchdown. They finally decided to nullify Coleman’s touchdown but give Park City the ball at the 15-yard line.

A few plays later, Jonas Loyens powered in from the 5-yard line for Park City’s final touchdown. Coleman ran in the extra point.

"It took a heroic effort by these boys to win this playoff game," head coach Cal Coleman said. "We had boys with strep throat and fever, several had missed school and were throwing up, but they all overcame these problems and came up with big plays when we needed them. Now, it’s on to the championship."

The Miners play West for the title at Juan Diego High School Saturday morning.