After dream season, Park City football falls to Sky View in state title game
Park City entered Friday’s Class 4A state title game as the No. 1 seed. All season long, the Miners had been able to handle anything thrown their way, make adjustments and pull out the victory.
But, all good things must come to an end.
Despite battling until the final whistle, Park City’s perfect season concluded with a 35-0 loss to second-seeded Sky View at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. The Miners, who hoped to capture the school’s first state football title, will have to keep waiting.
“This game was won up front,” said Park City coach Josh Montzingo. “Not only are they big and strong, they’re athletic, too, and that was a tough matchup for us. … Normally we can rely on our size and athleticism, but not today.”
The loss concluded what may be the best season in Miners history. On their way to a 13-1 record and Region 10 championship, the Miners captured the heartbeat of the community. That was evident at the end of the game when, the outcome already decided, the Park City cheering section was still full and fans were on their feet.
“I personally feel like I let the community down today, but all their support means the world to me and to us as a program,” Montzingo said. “I’ve lived a lot of places in my life but this small town, Park City, it’s home. The reason I have a home is because of this community and the way they rally around each other and us.”
Running back Dylan Bauer was a bright spot on offense despite battling through a sprained ankle, capping his sensational high school career with a game-high 131 rushing yards on 18 carries.
From the start, the game didn’t go as planned for Park City, as the Miners got punched in the mouth from the opening play, when Sky View star Mason Falslev caught a six-yard pass then broke a tackle before going out of bounds for a 13-yard gain.
While Falslev was impressive, Park City did a good job of holding him without a touchdown in the opening half, in large part due to senior linebacker Brady Baumann. Baumann, who gives up about eight inches and 30 pounds to Falslev, made several open-field tackles and brought physicality the Miners needed.
But with all of Park City’s attention on containing Falslev, the Miners forgot about Sky View quarterback Kason Carlsen, who had three rushing touchdowns in the opening quarter for a 21-0 lead, a deficit Park City was unable to overcome.
The Miners found life in the second quarter after an interception by Carver Rodman gave the Miners the ball at midfield. But that drive stalled in the redzone, negating what could’ve been a game-changing score.
“We needed that one, especially if we score in that moment because we keep this a game and then get the ball at the half,” Montzingo said. “That would’ve given us a little bit of a spark or ‘oomph’ but it just didn’t happen. That’s by far the best team we’ve seen all year so credit to them.”
The Miners fared no better in the second half, with Falslev finding the end zone twice to complete the scoring.
With the outcome all but decided, Park City refused to quit, constantly rising up off the field for another play. Despite being physically outmatched, the Miners showed off the same perseverance that got them to the title game, a point Montzingo was happy to make after the game.
“While the score won’t say this, there were kids who didn’t have anything left in the tank but kept picking themselves up off the ground and playing,” Montzingo said. “They truly love one another and did it for one another, not quitting on each other. That character speaks more than the scoreboard does.”
It was a season for the ages for Park City, and although it didn’t end the way the Miners would’ve liked, Montzingo told the players after the game that Friday’s loss is far from the most important thing they’ll take away from the season.
“It may be cheesy and it may be corny but I don’t care. … I love these boys and they’re truly family to me and each other,” Montzingo said. “I told them ‘one game doesn’t define you or what you did this season’ and I meant every word. This is an incredible group of young men and ones that I’m honored to have coached.”
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