Miners close regular season with loss to Skyline, start preparation for states | ParkRecord.com

Miners close regular season with loss to Skyline, start preparation for states

Park City has a bye week before the playoffs start

Park City football coach Josh Montzingo instructs his team during a practice in August. The Miners have the week off ahead of the opening round of the state playoffs.
Park Record file photo

The misty rain that pelted Park City Monday evening appeared to be taunting Park City’s football team during its practice after its loss against Skyline on Friday. The Miners’ offense was suffocated by the Eagles in a 10-6 loss on a wet, sloppy night in Millcreek.

“We can’t make as many mistakes as we did, too many holding calls, too many procedural calls backing ourselves up,” Miners coach Josh Montzingo said. “We were in the red zone a lot, it’s not like we didn’t move the ball. We got to capitalize, we got to finish. We had four or five times where we just didn’t, we score two of those, and it’s over.”

The Miners now have two weeks to prepare for the state playoffs because of a bye on Friday. Park City ended its first regular season in Class 5A with a 4-5 record and a 4-2 record against Region 6 foes. However, the Miners went just 1-4 in games decided by one possession, including both of their losses in region play.

“If we can put it all together, I think we can do a lot of dangerous things, so yeah, I think (our record) is deceptive,” Montzingo said. “But that’s on us to put it all together, and we haven’t done it yet. So until we do, we have to own that record.”

Having a bye week at the end of the regular season rather than in the middle presents its own complications. Ordinarily, teams have two weeks to rest and prepare for their next opponent, which could be an advantage if their opponent doesn’t have a bye as well. But since the Miners don’t know who they’ll face in the first round of the playoffs, it’s more about resting, getting players back from injury and staying game-ready. Nine straight weeks of games takes its toll on a team.

“For us, it’s actually a good thing because a lot of the guys are banged up here and there the last week missing a couple of guys,” Montzingo said. “I think a week and a half will be — two by the time we actually play the game — will be amazing for these guys to get back on their feet a little reenergized.”

Park City will also be looking for ways to get back on track and cut down on mistakes ahead of its opening game in the playoffs. The Miners sandwiched a four-game winning streak in the middle of the season between an 0-3 start and two straight losses to Brighton and Skyline. Montzingo acknowledged that there might have been “a little bit of a letdown” against Skyline after falling short of the team’s goal of capturing a region title with the loss at home to the Bengals.

But the Miners will also go into the playoffs with a clean slate, regardless of where the state’s RPI system seeds them or where they’ll have to play in the first round. The struggles in close games won’t matter at that point, nor will the dashed dreams of a region title in Park City’s first year in 5A, as long as they play their best football when it matters most.

“We just focus on us, we look at the season, things that we know we need to work on, things that have been either weaknesses or we’re just not as good as we’d like to be,” Montzingo said. “Just giving ourselves some more competitive moments in practice, just trying to keep the energy up and having a little bit of competition during the week so we don’t lose that and get too flat.”

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