Park City draws rematch with Skyline to open playoffs
The Miners lost 10-6 to the Eagles in the regular season
Park City football coach Josh Montzingo reminded his team in Monday’s post-practice huddle what they have to play for. As snow began to pelt Dozier Field, he told the Miners that they could be like fellow Region 6 team Highland and be nice and warm at home, or they could continue to work and keep their season alive.
After a bye week, the Miners, who finished the regular season at 4-5 and ranked 20th out of 32 teams in Class 5A in RPI, will go on the road Friday and face Skyline (6-4) in the opening round of the state playoffs. Park City has an opportunity to avenge a sloppy 10-6 loss to the Eagles in its last game of the regular season — or it will go home.
“I hope it fires them up in the right direction, it is do or die, so at the end of the day, it’s like ‘What are you waiting for?’ at this point,” Montzingo said. “More importantly, I hope they’re just excited for the extra time that we get together. The time to hang out and goof and have fun and compete and get better at the game that we all love. (That) they make the most of that opportunity, that’s what’s most important.”
Skyline is coming off a 27-7 loss to No. 14 Olympus last week that snapped a three-game winning streak in region play. The Eagles knocked off No. 4 Bountiful 38-36 on the road earlier in the season, but they also beat No. 30 Highland by just nine points.
The onus will be on Park City’s offense to produce more points. Defensively, the Miners match up well against a Skyline offense that is averaging just 21.3 points per game, including just two games in region play where it hit the 20-point mark.
The first meeting with the Eagles was the only time all season that the Miners failed to score double-digit points. Park City scored 29.6 points per game before the Skyline game, but the Eagles’ defense has been stout all year. Skyline has held opponents to single-digit points four times this season.
“We’ve also got to make plays when we have the opportunities, that’s a tenacious defense,” Montzingo said. “When we get open chances, we’ve got to make them pay for playing as tight to the line of scrimmage as they do. That’s the only way to kind of take care of them and loosen them up. But they put a lot of pressure on you, you have to give a lot of credit to them.”
The Miners were hampered by three interceptions and key mistakes on offense against Skyline, so cleaning that up and finishing drives will go a long way. But hitting on more big plays would be a major boost as well.
“When you get that one-on-one chance and get behind that zero coverage they have, you’ve got to make that catch, you’ve got to score it,” Montzingo said. “We’ve got to make sure we get to the second level and get those linebackers better. If we can do that, our running game still got a good amount of yards, we just didn’t get all the way in. I think that will get us all the way in.”
Park City is also looking to win its first playoff game at the Class 5A level after moving up from Class 4A. The goal all season has been to get to this point and secure a win come playoff time, and the Miners have put themselves in a position to do just that.
“That was one of our main goals was to make the playoffs, try to get that first 5A playoff win, which hasn’t been done around here because we haven’t been in the 5A realm yet,” Montzingo said. “While we’ve missed a couple of goals, we have a goal still around, and now it’s our chance. Clean slate, 0-0, going to the playoffs, let’s go win our first game and take that first goal back.”
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