North Summit football drops season opener
Early in the third quarter of Friday night’s season opener on the newly resurfaced football field in Coalville, things were going well for North Summit.
The Braves had just scored to take a 14-0 lead over Layton Christian, with senior running backs Tristan Woolstenhulme (eight yards) and Rand Pentz (25 yards) finding the end zone.
Then, however, the game got away from North Summit. Layton Christian scored on a one-yard run and a 60-yard pass, and completed a two-point conversion after the second touchdown to take a 15-14 lead heading into the final quarter of play.
As the Eagles drove deep into North Summit territory with time running out, the Braves let their opponents score in order to get the ball back to attempt a last-minute comeback.
However, the comeback attempt failed and Layton Christian held on to earn the 21-14 road upset of North Summit.
North Summit Coach Devin Smith said the Braves did some nice things in the first half, but undisciplined play came back to haunt them in the second half.
“We executed OK early and got a couple touchdowns,” he said. “One of them was in the second quarter and one was on the first drive of the third. We didn’t turn the ball over once, but we killed ourselves with penalties. We had the ball inside the 10 [yard line] once and had two false starts that killed that drive. We had seven false-start penalties.”
Smith said that, even with all the penalties, the Braves were still in a position to at least tie the game in the closing seconds.
“Late in the game, so we could get the ball back, we let them score,” he said. “We had a great kickoff return that got us about to the 50. We wanted to take a couple shots [to the end zone], but we just have to get rid of it quicker and give our receivers a chance to make a play.”
Coming into the season, the Braves’ offensive line was young and inexperienced. Smith said that unit will have to continue to improve in order for North Summit to have success this year.
“We’ve got to have them be more disciplined,” he said. “We found out Friday night we have a lot of work to do. It’s not just the line, though — we’ve got to have better quarterback play and better play all-around.”
Smith added that Friday’s loss was disappointing, but since it doesn’t count for final region standings or playoff position, it’s a chance to learn and improve.
“It definitely was humbling,” he said. “It showed us that we have a lot of work to do. We didn’t execute even close to how we need to. We have some experience, obviously, but we have enough inexperience that we’ve got to learn situations in the game and what we need to do to come through in those situations.”
Next week, the Braves travel to take on Duchesne. Smith said that won’t be an easy game, but he’s eager to see if his team plays better in game two.
“[Duchesne does] a great job and they have tough, hard-nosed kids,” he said. “We’ve got to refocus and be ready to go. My hope is we’ll use [Friday’s loss] as fuel to get better.”
North Summit’s next home game is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 2, against Enterprise. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Coalville.
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