Park City football upsets Sky View by one point, faces Dixie Thursday in Salt Lake
Friday was close for the Park City Miners football team, but they pulled it off.
Park City toppled undefeated Sky View 15-14 in Smithfield last Friday, eking out the upset over the No. 1 seed with a two-point conversion.
The win put the 8-4 Miners through to the Class 4A state semifinals, where they’ll face off against Dixie at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Thursday. It’s the Miners’ first trip to the semifinals since 2009, when Hurricane beat the Miners 24-19 in the Class 3A postseason.
“It feels amazing, that’s for sure,” coach Josh Montzingo said.
Going into the game, Montzingo said the team was focused on limiting mistakes and trying to keep the Bobcats on a short leash.
“They have one of the top defenses in the state, and they were going to be able to match us with team speed,” Montzingo said, summarizing Sky View’s strengths.
“We had a few drives where we figured out where we could and couldn’t run and what we could and couldn’t do.”
The first half of the game was spent with both teams looking for weaknesses, during which Sky View’s quarterback, junior Mason Falslev, was injured.
Falslev faked a handoff, rolled out right and found a gap. When the Miners brought him down at the end of his 22-yard run, he was helped off the field with a bleeding chin and a leg injury, and didn’t return until the third quarter.
The Miners were at their closest to scoring in the first half when an eight-play drive resulted in a blocked field goal attempt.
Montzingo said it was one of the plays his team would learn from, adding that Sky View’s defense lived up to an intimidating reputation.
“We need to do a better job of scoring in the red zone,” he said.
The rest of the half passed without a touchdown from either team.
When Falslev returned, he made up for lost time with a 19-yard touchdown run to put the Bobcats on the board with 5:30 left in the third quarter.
Park City answered with 2:12 left on the clock after extending their possession through a fake punt, which resulted in a drive that got the Miners close enough to give junior running back Dylan Bauer the ball for a 4-yard touchdown run.
The Bobcats returned to the Miners’ end zone at the start of the fourth quarter, when Falslev pushed through the defense on a 1-yard run with 11:36 left in the game.
On the Miners’ next possession, Sky View junior Traeson Martindale intercepted a deep pass and was brought down hard by a Miners defender, who managed to wrestle the ball out of Martindale’s hands. Replay footage appears to show Martindale kicking the Park City player. A scuffle on the field ensues as two of the defender’s teammates shoves Martindale in response.
Park City was awarded the ball afterward, and, after an incomplete pass, junior quarterback Jack Skidmore threw a 45-yard bomb to junior wide receiver Mark McCurdy to bring the offense to the Bobcats’ 6-yard line.
Skidmore found McCurdy again in a cross-field pass to the left side of the endzone, closing the gap with the Bobcats 14-13.
The Miners had two choices: tie the game with an extra point with 7:40 left in the game, or go for the lead with a two-point conversion.
Park City opted for the latter.
“We all just decided we were going to go for it,” Montzingo said. “Our assistant coaches all came to me and said ‘Hey we all think we should go for two,’ and I said, ‘Yep, me too, I’ve already thought the same thing.’”
Skidmore dropped back and searched for a way through to his right.
As the defense started to close in, he found McCurdy in the end zone and lofted a ball to him for a two-point conversion and the difference in the game.
Montzingo said, as an underdog on the road, the Miners didn’t have anything to lose by taking the chance.
“We really wanted to put some pressure on them,” he said. “We had to scramble around a little bit to get it, but when you have a weapon like Mark and a good quarterback like Jack who can make some things happen, it was worth going for, and it turned out well.”
The win put the Miners through to face Region 9 leader Dixie, whose only loss was to 5A Springville in August. The teams have played one common opponent in Tooele, which both Park City and Dixie defeated by more than 20 points.
Dixie is coming off of a 31-20 home win over Spanish Fork.
Montzingo described Dixie as “another great team,” saying they were “tough across the board.”
The Miners and the Flyers will take the field at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City at 6 p.m. on Thursday.
An earlier version of this story misstated the 4A semifinal game in the headline as taking place on Friday, not Thursday.
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The Miners are looking to avenge a loss to Skyline in the regular season when they face the Eagles in the opening round of the playoffs on Friday.