Total domination in the dirt
It may have been a dirty night for the Miners playing on a rain-soaked grass field at Granite High school on Friday, but Park City had their cleanest win of the year shutting out their biggest nemesis, the Judge Memorial Bulldogs, 21-0.
"It was awesome," said running back Jared Tew. "They’re our biggest rival for sure."
It took a while for the Miners to get going as they attempted to figure out how to maneuver against both the mud and the Bulldogs’ game plan, but once they figured it out they never looked back.
"I think with such a rivalry, we were both really tense at first," said Miners head coach Brandon Matich. "It was a case of doing what we wanted to do."
Due to slick and muddy conditions, much of the game was a series of fumbles, punts and turnovers. The difference was that the Miners were able to score off of turnovers, while the Bulldogs just couldn’t.
The first and all-important turnover came midway through the second quarter when lineman Russell Kearsey forced a Bulldog fumble and Colton Nichter recovered it. A few plays later, running back Jared Tew converted on the turnover with a 23-yard run to the endzone to put the Miners up 7-0.
"It was hard to get used to it [the muddy conditions]," Tew said. "But once I did, it was fun."
Early in the third, Tew had some more fun turning in a dazzling 82-yard rush to put Park City up 14-0
Both ers and Tew fumbled the ball in second half, but the Bulldogs were unable to do anything with it. Judge was also hobbled by the absence of star running back Dom Parker, who was kept out of the first half on a coach’s decision.
The Miners permanently silenced the Bulldogs at the end of the game with a short four-yard run by Tew.
The Miners’ stingy defense also added to the Bulldogs’ problems. Holding Judge to just 115 yards of total offense, multiple Miners got in on the act. Tew led the team on the defensive side as well, joining in on eight tackles. Kearsey, Nick Vought and Byers each recorded seven tackles apiece and Nichter, Daniel Modrovsky and Maurice Crichlow had six each.
Tew continued to prove why he is one of the most talented running backs in the state, earning 157 yards rushing even in the worst of conditions. He averaged 7.1 yards per carry on 22 carries, and all on a sore knee tendon that he kept in a brace for the game.
"He’s one of those athletic talents that can play equally as well on both sides of the football," Matich said. "And he’s an even better person than a football player."
Tew was helped out by Vought, who had 86 yards rushing, and Byers with 42 yards. Collectively, the Miners had another big day on offense with 310 yards of total offense.
The win for the Matich and the Miners was two-fold. Not only was a gratifying win against their rival after losing in the season finale to the Bulldogs last year, but it also establishes Park City as a top contender in a very tough Region 10.
The Miners continue to be ranked as the top team in 3A and now have a 5-0 record, a feat they haven’t accomplished since 1992.
Park City will continue to be tested. Their next opponent is Uintah, a perennially strong team, who is ready to take aim at the league-leading Miners.
"I thoroughly believe we have to do this every week," Matich said. "They truly believe we’re not tough enough. We’re gonna have to prove them wrong."
The Miners will try and prove their toughness this Friday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. at Uintah High School.
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The Park Record’s top stories list this past weekend included pieces on the area’s historic drought, vandalism of a beloved local work of art and more.