Miners thrash region rival Stansbury in 38-14 homecoming victory, remain undefeated
Entering the season, it was known around the state of Utah that the Park City football team was going to be able to score point.
With nearly its entire offensive line returning and a bevy of playmakers, the Miners were set on the offensive side of the ball. But questions remained about the Park City defense and whether the unit could hold up its end of the bargain.
Playing a tough schedule against bigger, physical and more athletic teams, the defense was going to have to match the offense if Park City was going to have a chance to achieve its goal of a state championship.
What happened over 48 minutes at Dozier Field on Friday night in a 38-14 thrashing of Region 10 rival Stansbury answered many of the remaining questions about the Miners defense — the group is dominant.
“The way were able to play tonight showed that we are legit,” senior linebacker Chase Johansen said. “The intensity that we bring to practice every day is our advantage and it’s helped fuel us for that what we did tonight.”
Led by an outstanding effort from Johansen and fellow linebackers Brady Baumann and Ray Rivera, Park City (6-0, 3-0 Region 10) smothered Stansbury (3-3, 2-1 Region 10) and its high-tempo offense, holding the Stallions, who have frustrated the Miners in previous seasons, to just two scores.
“Tonight was huge because we’ve been working to climb that hurdle for a while and finally beat these guys,” said Josh Montzingo, Park City’s coach. “It’s been a mental road block for us the past couple years so tonight was big. But now, in our minds, we are just 1-0 and have to get ready for next week.”
Stansbury came into the game averaging 34.6 points per game but was held largely in check as Park City was the faster and more physical team at the point of attack all night on defense.
Despite giving up an long touchdown drive early, the Miners kept the Stallions on their half of the field for much of the game. Stansbury’s final touchdown came late in the fourth quarter with the game already out of hand.
“All 11 people are playing as hard as they can because everyone has been stepping up this year for us,” Johansen said. “I definitely think we proved something tonight. That’s a very good offense but we did what we had to do and it worked out for us. The way we were able to play against them was big.”
The final score wasn’t indicative of how the Miners dominated the game from start to finish. Park City forced two fumbles and had two interceptions, one by Rivera and one by Mark McCurdy — bringing their season total to 18 forced turnovers in six games.
“The defense did great tonight,” Montzingo said. “… They showed what they’re capable of when they’re playing together and they’re tough to score against. Stansbury is a very good offense (and) they’ve got quite a few playmakers out there, but we gave them fits all night long. We made the plays we needed to make and that was the difference for us.”
Baumann, who was celebrating his 18th birthday, was everywhere for the defense. Constantly keeping contain against the explosive Stansbury players, Baumann would either force the ball carriers back inside, where they were met by Johansen, or track them down for a loss if they tried to go around him.
As a unit, Park City is now giving up just 14.5 points per game, more than five points fewer than last season. And many of the points the Miners have surrendered have been with the game’s outcome firmly determined and with substitutes playing.
Against Stansbury, Park City, ranked No. 4 in Class 4A per MaxPreps and No. 1 in RPI, may have announced itself as a true title contender. The Stallions were ranked No. 5 entering the game. Instead of having just the dominant offense, which is averaging 38.7 points per game, the Miners now have the defense to go along with it.
The Miners are fast and physical in all phases of the game and are proving it week in and week out.
“Tonight just confirmed what I already knew about my team,” Montzingo said. “I told them that they’re great, that I know it, and that I wanted them to go out and show everybody.”
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Two Park City singles players advance to the semifinals of the 5A state tennis playoffs; North Summit and South Summit girls soccer to begin state playoffs next week.