Park City celebrates homecoming with 41-6 dismantling of Highland
Miners remain unbeaten in region play
Park City junior Miles Preston dropped back into coverage, looking to keep Highland off the scoreboard as the Rams drove into Miner territory. It was second-and-7 from Park City’s 28-yard line, with the Miners leading by seven early in the second quarter.
Preston kept his eyes on Rams quarterback Ashton Zwick as the signal-caller scanned the field for an open receiver. Zwick looked at Preston’s side of the field and released the ball.
His pass found Preston instead of a Highland receiver, and the defender easily sped past the Rams before strutting into the end zone for the score.
“I was nervous coming into the game because I knew they threw a lot, and all of practice we were practicing staying down and not bailing in our backpedal,” Preston said. “But that’s what I had going through my mind the whole time. I saw, looking at the quarterback, didn’t notice I was there, and he threw the ball in the air, kind of lofted it up. So I just ran right under it and showed off my speed a little bit, got into the end zone.”
Preston’s pick six, his second in as many weeks, put the Miners up 14-0 en route to a 41-6 thrashing of the Rams for homecoming. After an 0-3 start, Park City has won three straight games, all against region opponents. The Miners also enjoyed a packed crowd for homecoming, as the rowdy fans energized them all night long.
“It’s a lot of fun, the energy is for real, the kids feed off it, we love it,” Miners coach Josh Montzingo said. “It’s great to have support and that we can represent such a great community.”
The Miners scored the game’s first touchdown after Highland went for it on fourth-and-1 from its own 19-yard line and came up short. Park City’s offense overcame a holding penalty on the first play, thanks to the efforts of senior Carson Tabaracci. Two plays after a 15-yard run, Tabaracci punched it in from seven yards out.
Park City’s offense had another short field to start its next drive after the defense forced another turnover on downs on 4th-and-1. A deep pass to senior Sam Alford that put the Miners in scoring range set up a 23-yard screen pass that Tabaracci took to the house for a commanding 21-0 lead.
Miners quarterback Chase Beyer and Alford weren’t done linking up, either. Beyer threw a high, deep pass to the end zone intended for Alford. The 6-foot-3 senior out-jumped a defender to haul in the touchdown for a 28-0 halftime lead.
“It feels good, I haven’t been able to jump like that in a while,” Alford said. “So being able to get up there and show people what I can actually do is really fun to show, you know? Get to show them who the real Sam Alford is.”
Park City’s big first half made up for a sloppy second half marred by a seemingly endless number of penalties. Two Tabaracci rushing touchdowns were taken off the board by penalties on the same drive. Kicker Stephen Shagen booted a pair of field goals in the second half, and sophomore Will McCurdy rushed for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
“If we don’t derail ourselves … we might have gotten away a little bit faster in that third quarter, and that’s on us, we’ve got to execute better and make sure that we put those in,” Montzingo said. “But, I can’t say enough, a lot of guys made a lot of plays tonight. I’m super proud of all of them.”
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Mattie Prior has taken over for the Miners after her twin sister, Cassie, broke her wrist.