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Miners football falls to Soaring Eagle

Things didn’t get off to a very good start for the Park City High School football team on Friday night at Dozier Field.

Squaring off against region-rival Juan Diego, the Miners fell behind 21-0 by the time the first quarter was over. Though they eventually started playing better and made a game of it, it was too little, too late in a 35-26 loss. From the second quarter on, the Miners outscored the Soaring Eagle 26-14, but it wasn’t enough to avoid finishing the regular season with a 2-8 record.

Sophomore quarterback Spencer Zur started the scoring for the Miners, finding senior Bjorn Borness for a six-yard touchdown in the second quarter. After halftime, Jared Robinson drilled a 44-yard field goal and added a 22-yarder in the fourth quarter. Zur added a four-yard touchdown pass to Harrison Fugate in the third quarter as well.

As time was winding down in the fourth, Grayson Maddux scored on a 13-yard run to cut Juan Diego’s lead to 35-26. Robinson came on for the extra point, which would have made it a one-possession game. However, the Soaring Eagle surged through the Park City offensive line, blocking the kick and effectively sealing a victory.

Park City coach Mike Shepherd said plays like the blocked extra point have been plaguing the Miners all year.

"Inexperienced teams and teams that aren’t used to winning make little mistakes like that and we have to get over that," he said. "That only comes with experience and a little bit of luck where, one time, we don’t make a mistake or the other team makes a mistake instead of us. Little things win and lose games. We don’t do as many little things correctly as we need to right now to win games."

That being said, Shepherd was happy with the way the Miners played in the second half of Friday night’s game.

"We played much better," he said. "We played hard in the second half. We could have easily given up, but we didn’t do that."

Shepherd was also pleased with the play of Zur, who orchestrated all three of Park City’s touchdown drives.

"He played great," he said. "He’s only a sophomore and he has a lot to learn still. But, obviously, if you watched the game, he did a great job."

Defensively, the Miners took advantage of a botched punt snap from the Soaring Eagle and also recovered two fumbles in what Shepherd said was a good effort plagued by too many minor lapses.

"Our defense played fantastic except a little bit here and there," he said. "We gave up a drive right before half, which we’ve done numerous times this season. Winning teams stop that drive and go into halftime with momentum. If we stop that drive, who knows what happens?"

The good news for Park City is that the season isn’t over just yet. Shepherd said he’s glad there’s another week to work together as a team.

"The good part is we’re 0-0 right now and everybody has an equal opportunity in the playoffs," he said. "We need to prepare properly this week. We need to be enthusiastic, we need to be coach-able and we need to have kids stay."

He added that he hopes the younger kids in the program take advantage of the extra practice.

"JV kids, who probably wouldn’t play in the game, they still get an extra week of practice to become a better football player," he said. "That’s the mentality we need to have. Instead of having kids say, ‘Well, I’m not going to play Friday, so I’m not coming to practice,’ it should be, ‘I get another week to actually play football.’ Those are the mentalities that winning programs have."

The Miners will travel south on Friday to take on Hurricane in the 3AA quarterfinals. The game is scheduled to kick off at 4 p.m.


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