Park City youth football team shocks Soaring Eagle |

Park City youth football team shocks Soaring Eagle

The Park City Bantam football team (13-14 year olds) was seeking a win in its home opener against Juan Diego last Saturday and the Miners did not disappoint the hometown crowd, pulling off a thrilling 13-12 overtime victory.

The Park City defense proved stingy on the warm September morning, limiting the Soaring Eagle to just one touchdown in the first half. Jack Lecher made a great play on the extra-point attempt, a stop that would prove pivotal in the final outcome.

After holding Juan Diego on a fourth down, and with time running out in the first half, head coach Shawn Long and offensive coordinator Joe Salisbury embarked on an aggressive plan to put the Miners in the end zone. Park City drove 55 yards on six consecutive passes, all completions, from quarterback Spencer Zur to Joe Simmons, Devin Valiquett and Collin Zur, including the one-yard TD pass to Zur. The extra point failed, leaving the score 6-6 at the end of the first half.

The second half was a see-saw affair, with neither team able to get much going. Despite an interception and a 33-yard return by Ruben Rivera, and another interception by Lecher, the Miners weren’t able to capitalize, leaving the score tied at the end of regulation.

In overtime, Juan Diego scored a touchdown, but could not convert on the extra point. On Park City’s overtime possession, the Miners decided to run Rivera up the middle for two yards, pitched outside to Connor Keizer for seven more, then called a quarterback sneak. A huge push by the offensive line enabled Zur to score a one-yard touchdown, tying the score at 12-12.

The coaches then decided to put the game on the backs of the offensive line and run another quarterback sneak. With the skill and strength born of six weeks of practice, the offensive line of Grant Gabrielson, Cameron Gallagher, Kyle Haas, Elijah Alford, and Mark Vausbinder again showed why they were the heroes of the game with a monstrous push that enabled Zur to again cross the goal line for the 13-12 win. It was a great win for the Miners that will act as a springboard for Saturday’s matchup at Skyline.

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