Miners overcome early deficit to defeat Olympus
Park City shuts out Titans in second half, remains undefeated at home
Staring at a 14-0 deficit midway through the second quarter on Friday against Olympus, there wasn’t any panic on the Park City sideline. Heads weren’t dropping, teammates weren’t pointing fingers at each other and the Miners stayed focused on making adjustments. A game that could have quickly spiraled out of control didn’t.
Park City rallied for 21 unanswered points to come away with a 21-14 win over Olympus at Dozier Field on Friday night. Senior Chase Beyer threw two touchdown passes, and the Miners’ defense posted a shutout in the second half to keep Park City’s hopes of a region title alive. Park City is 6-1 on the season and 3-1 in Region 6 play ahead of its next game at Brighton, which is undefeated in region play.
“(We were) more upset with ourselves than anything else,” Park City coach Josh Montzingo said. “Some of those things were mostly things we could control, and we felt like, ‘OK, we can do better than that, so we need to make some adjustments.’ So we did, and the offense came back and got us going.”
Olympus took the lead on its first possession of the game and only needed a couple of minutes to score. The Miners pinned the Titans inside their own 10, but Olympus made quick work of Park City’s defense. Olympus senior Charles Sherwood punched it in for a rushing touchdown to put the Titans on top 7-0.
Park City stopped Olympus on its next drive, but it wasn’t long before the Titans doubled their lead. The Titans took over around midfield after Park City was stopped on fourth down and then capitalized when junior Luke Bryant took an end-around all the way for a 14-0 lead.
But the Miners afterward started clicking on offense.
“Same as it was in the beginning: We got our guys around us, and let’s roll and do what we do,” Beyer said. “Put some points up on the board and help our defense out.”
Park City responded by cutting the deficit back to seven on its next possession. Beyer completed passes to seniors Joseph Eldridge and Maximilian Grizzell to set up a short touchdown throw to Eldridge. The Miners had an opportunity to tie the game heading into halftime, but they ran out of time when Beyer was tackled just short of the goal line late in the second quarter with no timeouts.
Park City’s first drive of the second half was slow, methodical and deliberate. The Miners worked their way into Olympus territory and converted on a fourth and short to keep the drive alive. Beyer capped off the possession, which took up most of the third quarter, with a touchdown to senior Gavin Beichner.
“That was huge,” Beyer said. “We knew we had them. We knew we were driving on them. We just had to punch it in, and it was just big for the guys to come together and really, really make it happen.”
The Miners took their first lead of the game with just under seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. Senior Mason Grover ripped off a long run, moving the Miners into the red zone. Grover ran it in for the Miners to give them the lead a few plays later. The score was Grover’s first rushing touchdown since Park City’s win over Maple Mountain on Aug. 19.
“It’s been a little bit of a drought,” Grover said. “I was tired, but I stayed in. I wanted to pound that in. I wanted that.”
After a rocky start, Park City’s defense found its groove in the second half. The closest Olympus got to scoring in the final two quarters was a long field goal attempt that fell short. Senior Jack Stouffer came down with an interception in the fourth quarter right before the ball could hit the turf to effectively ice the game for the Miners.
“Once we tied it up, we knew it was kind of a new game again,” Montzingo said. “(The) defense did a great job after that of really just kind of going back to basics and doing our job.”
Dozier Field has been a special place for the Miners this season. Park City is 4-0 at home with one more regular-season home game left. The Miners have outscored their opponents 130-27 in four games at Dozier Field in 2022. While Park City’s first three home wins were comfortable victories, it took some grit and determination to find another on Friday.
“There’s no panic, there’s no infighting,” Montzingo said. “They’re going to find ways to step up. And they know that sometimes they haven’t been playing well in the first half, they’re going to play better in the second half or whatever it is. But we find answers rather than pointing fingers. It’s been fun coaching these guys.”
The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation held their World Cup event at Park City this week. Using the track at the Utah Olympic Park. | David Jackson/Park Record
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