Twelve year olds take Ute football title |

Twelve year olds take Ute football title

Submitted by Jean Slusher

The Park City Midget football team (age 12) defeated Riverton 27-6 for the championship of the National Division in the Ute Conference Football League on Nov. 14, while battling the first big snowstorm of the year.

The Midgets started off well in the first quarter with long runs by running backs Chandler Barkdull, Cody Barton and Bosten Van Der Veur that took them to the 10-yard line. After a handoff from quarterback Chandler Anderson to Barkdull, the Midgets put the first points on the board. Barkdull made the PAT.

Riverton answered with a touchdown after a fumbled snap was picked up and run down to the two-yard line. But a tough defensive line of Michael Peterson, Ryan Graves, Derighton Tornovish and Noah Mikan denied Riverton the extra point, making the score 7-6.

In the second quarter, Park City got the ball back on downs and proceeded to march down the field on runs by Van Der Veur and Barkdull (who picked up an extra 10 yards while carrying a Riverton defender on his back). But the wet snow finally got to the Park City backs. The ball was fumbled and recovered by Riverton on the 5-yard line.

However, the Park City defensive line and linebackers Cole Rogers, Tristan Rodrigues and Rawson Simmons, along with cornerbacks Jackson Smith and Barkdull and safety Christopher Renne, held Riverton scoreless for the remainder of the half. Park City had possession when time ran out in the first half.

To start the second half, a long kick by Park City’s Zach Slusher was misplayed by Riverton and Connor Smith tackled the Riverton receiver deep in its own zone. The Park City defense held and a Riverton punt on fourth down was blocked by Michael Peterson and recovered by Sam Kingdon.

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After a few runs by Barton and Barkdull, Park City quarterback Anderson scored on a one-yard run. Barkdull ran in the extra point, making the score 14-6.

On Park City’s next possession, the offensive line of Hunter Smith, Graves, Tornovish, Peterson, Zared Long and center Maverick Berglund continued to create gaps for the running backs to pick up yardage. Runs by Barkdull, Anderson and Van Der Veur picked up first downs as Park City marched down the field while taking time off the clock.

In the fourth quarter, Van Der Veur scored from the four-yard line and Anderson added the extra point.

On Riverton’s next possession, a pass was intercepted by Barkdull, who ran it back for Park City’s fourth touchdown. The extra point attempt was thwarted by Riverton, making the final score 27-6.

The Park City team, which finished the season with a 9-2 record, has been coached for the last five years by Ryan Renne, Charlie Slusher, Shawn Long and Kevin Mikan. The team has been in the playoffs every year and won the Continental League Championship in its first year together as Gremlins.