North Summit football season ends in heartbreaker
November 10, 2015
Saturday’s 2A playoff semifinal game at Southern Utah University in Cedar got off to a great start for the North Summit High School football team.
On the Braves’ first drive of the game, running back Rand Pentz scored on a one-yard run to give North Summit a 6-0 lead against Beaver, the 2A South No. 1 seed.
However, the Beavers entered halftime with a 7-6 lead courtesy of a 15-yard run by quarterback Matthew Roberts in a game they’d go on to win 14-6.
North Summit, playing without star running back Tristan Woolstenhulme, still felt good about its chances going into Saturday’s game, Coach Devin Smith said.
"All week, our kids felt confident," he said. "Even with the injuries, we felt like we had a good chance to win. Our kids believed that. To go up early and hold that lead for quite a while was even more of a boost."
The scored remained 7-6 until the fourth quarter, when Dillon Smith scored to extend Beaver’s lead to 14-6. With several chances to tie the game, Devin Smith said the Braves simply couldn’t string together a long enough drive offensively.
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"At times, we moved the ball OK on offense, but we just couldn’t sustain it," he said. "I don’t think [Beaver’s defense] was doing anything special, except that they adjusted their coverages. We planned on throwing it more than we have in the past and we did. We just couldn’t consistently sustain a drive. We’d get two or three first downs and just not finish. Beaver’s a good defense and we just couldn’t convert like we needed to."
The Braves came close on their final possession as time was winding down, Smith said, but they couldn’t convert on fourth down.
"We did make one really good drive at the end, but it got stopped on downs," he said. "We tried clear to the finish."
Defensively, North Summit forced four turnovers. Smith said the Braves continued their string of solid play on that side of the ball.
"Our defense has been our strength all year," he said. "They performed at an extremely high level again. They bent, but they never broke."
Jayce Richins led the Braves with 48 rushing yards. Pentz finished with 37 and quarterback Braxten Northrup had 10. Northrup was 5-for-11 passing for 40 yards. Pentz completed one pass for 19 yards.
North Summit finishes the season with an overall record of 7-4. Smith said he’ll remember this year’s group of seniors for the hard work they put in over their four years at the school.
"When these seniors were freshmen, they won one game," he said. "That’s a testament to them. They worked hard and stuck with it. My favorite things about this group is their mental toughness and the fact that they all got along. Not all teams get along. You can see it as a coach — when they get along, they play better."
With Woolstenhulme and Northrup, among others, returning to the field next year, Smith said the 2016 North Summit squad should again be one of the top 2A teams.
"If we can get kids in the weight room and working hard in the offseason, we have a chance to be really good next year," he said.
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