Juniors shine as Park City football wallops Ben Lomond in 45-7 region opener
The story of Park City’s 45-7 romp over Ben Lomond wasn’t exactly filled with twists and turns. In fact, the region opener started with a showstopper.
Faced with fourth down in friendly territory on the Miners’ first offensive possession of the game, junior quarterback Jack Skidmore led his offense in lining up as if nothing was amiss. And just as usual, Skidmore lofted a pass over several Scots to junior running back Dylan Bauer for a big gain, beginning a drive that eventually ended in the first of many touchdowns for the Miners.
Park City coach Josh Montzingo said the call, which set the tone for the night, was part of an effort to take control early and emphasize the team’s strengths.
“We would rather be aggressive, we want to go after it,” Montzingo said. “We don’t want to take a back seat and be passive, if we feel like we can make plays and we’ve got guys who can make plays, we’re going to give them the chance. I don’t want to take the ball out of their hands.”
Bauer said the play calling shows the coaches’ trust in his and his teammates’ abilities.
“Coach has mad confidence in us; it feels good,” he said.
Ben Lomond seemed almost powerless to match the Miners’ passing attack — good for 100 yards — and ground game, which put up a staggering 337 yards. And while the Scots showed flashes of athleticism in an early touchdown by junior wideout Tre Pearson, a combination of self-inflicted errors and a suffocating Park City defense kept them from getting almost anything done the rest of the night. Junior running back Brady Baumann sent off the Scots by uncorking an 87-yard scoring run midway through the fourth quarter.
“Getting out of the gates fast helped us out a lot,” Baumann said. “You get up three touchdowns in the first half and it’s hard to come back from that, and we just put the pedal to the metal after that and kept on rolling.”
Notably, juniors headlined the biggest contributions to the Miners’ night on offense. Quarterback Jack Skidmore was good for 9 out of 12 passes, two for touchdowns. Baumann led the team in yardage with 144 yards and two touchdown runs. Bauer brought home 68 yards and a scoring run, while sure-handed receiver Mark McCurdy made off with three touchdowns and 91 total yards.
Bauer credited a balanced passing attack and ground game with keeping the Scots defense on their heels.
“When we establish our passing game you can’t guard our team, really, because you’ve got to respect our run game too,” Bauer said. “And if you can’t respect Mark (McCurdy), who had three touchdowns; game over.”
Defensively, Montzingo said the team’s physical performance and discipline were highlights.
“Our defense hit and hit and hit and played well, we’re a physical team and that sets the tone of the whole game,” he said.
An already-sparse senior class wracked by injury makes this year’s team young in comparison to years past, and Montzingo said he’s looking forward to having another season to work with the juniors.
“We get a whole other year after this with them, and to watch them grow like they are now it’s only going to get more and more fun,” Montzingo said. “They’re doing an incredible job.”
Bauer and Baumann, who have been suiting up for the same teams since sixth grade, said that leading the team with a year left of eligibility comes from necessity.
“We all knew we had to step up for it,” Bauer said.
Coming out of the game, Montzingo said there’s room for improvement in the details.
“Still missed assignments, still little things we need to tighten up and tweak a little bit,” he said. “So we’re going to go back and get our assignments and get on the right page and get everything tightened up.”
On Friday, Park City (3-2) is set to head to Bonneville (2-3) for a region matchup in Washington Terrace. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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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.