Braves’ season ends in Cedar
By the time the North Summit High School football team started looking like the team that entered Saturday’s game with an 9-2 overall record, the scoreboard at the 2A semifinals game at Southern Utah University read Grand 28, North Summit 0.
The Braves had no answer for Grand running back/receiver Koi Cook, who scored the Red Devils’ first three touchdowns via a 12-yard run and two three-yard runs. Quarterback Jacob Francis also scored on a nine-yard run to give his team a four-score lead before North Summit could take back any momentum in what would ultimately become a 34-13 season-ending loss for the Braves.
But the Braves did get on the board before halftime, with running back Trevor Hale bursting through the Red Devil defense for a 76-yard run with 1:21 left in the first half.
North Summit coach Devin Smith said the team was simply outplayed in the first half.
"We knew they were good up front," he said. "They just controlled the line of scrimmage in the first half on both sides of the ball. That hurt us."
He said he never questioned the Braves’ effort, and was much happier with the way they played after intermission.
"Our kids played hard," he said. "I told them at halftime to just keep playing hard and not to quit. We just didn’t have a very good first half. Sometimes that’s the way it goes."
Over the course of the final 24 minutes of action, North Summit and Grand actually battled to a 6-6 draw, with Francis scrambling into the end zone on a five-yard run for Grand early in the fourth quarter and Hale finding the end zone a second time for North Summit on the following possession.
Though he was disappointed to see the season end, Smith recognized how amazing it was to have a chance to play in the 2A semifinals after finishing the 2012 season with a 2-8 record.
"I couldn’t be more proud of them," Smith said after the game. "It’s been a great group to coach. I’ll remember this season for the rest of my life."
The senior class, led by Hale, Josh Birk and Austin Simister, among others, will be missed, Smith said.
"I’ll miss everything their work ethic, their attitude, their willingness to be great teammates," he said. "I love them and we’re going to miss them."
He added that the senior class will be remembered for putting North Summit football back on the map.
"It’s huge," he said. "It puts us back where we need to be and lets the younger guys know this is where we’re supposed to be."
Though the semifinal loss hurts, Smith said there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic in Coalville.
"We have a lot of kids coming back," he said. "I’m excited about that."
With a 9-3 campaign under their belts, Smith expects the off-season to generate a lot of excitement for the 2014 season. For those players who don’t play other sports, Smith said getting in the weight room early and often will be crucial.
"We always encourage the kids to play other sports," he said. "But we’ll be in the weight room on Monday and we’re going to keep working to get better."
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Park City is the lone undefeated team in Region 10 play after a 60-30 win over Mountain View. The Miners have three more region games in their quest to repeat as region champions.