PCHS football rolls to season-opening victory
The Park City High School football team hit the road on Friday night to open the 2016 season against the Union Cougars in Roosevelt.
From the moment they got off the bus, the Miners were in control. By the time the first quarter ended, Park City already held a 14-0 lead.
The second quarter was the same story, as the Miners extended their lead to 28-0 at halftime.
In the second half, the offense slowed down a little, but the defense held strong and Park City claimed a 34-0 victory over the Cougars.
Park City Coach Josh Montzingo said he was proud of the way the team played in its first game of the 2016 campaign.
“It was a good team win,” he said. “We made plenty of first-game errors, but we banded together and did what it took to get through. Guys realized playing for each other really works.”
On defense, the Miners are a young group without a lot of varsity experience, so Montzingo said holding the Cougars to zero points was a big morale boost.
“It’s definitely good for confidence and buying into the system and the scheme,” he said. “They played hard, but they know they have some mistakes to clean up.”
Union turnovers led to two Park City defensive touchdowns — a 55-yard fumble recovery and return by Eli Alford and a 25-yard interception return by Russ Reiss. Montzingo said nothing swings a game’s momentum like a defensive touchdown.
“That’s definitely a defensive coordinator’s dream,” he said. “[Defensive players] work hard and it’s great to see them score. That only helps the team. It’s fun to see them get energy from that.”
Offensively, quarterback Spencer Zur had a big day, completing 18 of 22 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns — two to Tyler Shea and one to twin brother Collin Zur.
Montzingo said having tall receivers like Shea, Collin Zur and Beau Pederson will be a big boost to the Park City offense all season.
“That’ll definitely be something we’ll be able to use,” he said. “When you have that height advantage and a quarterback who can throw it to them, you have to use that to your advantage in the red zone.”
Collin Zur and Pederson contributed to the team in 2015, but Shea is a new weapon for Spencer Zur in 2016. Montzingo said he’s excited to continue increasing Shea’s role.
“He does some blocking and is starting to come into his own with that,” Montzingo said. “He’s a mismatch in the secondary and is a nice, big target for Spencer to look to.”
With all three Park City touchdowns coming through the air, Montzingo noted there’s still room for improvement in the Miners’ rushing attack.
“We’ve been a perimeter-based team in the past, so I think [an improved running game] will come with some work and some practice,” he said. “That’s a spot that’s a complete turnover from last year. We’ll get it cleaned up.”
Heading into this Friday’s home opener against Cyprus, Montzingo said the Miners are excited for the chance to play in front of their home fans after starting the year with a lopsided win.
“[The win] brings that positive energy and enthusiasm,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll pack the stands and get the community and fans energized.”
However, squaring off against a tough Cyprus team will require a lot of focus in practice this week, he added.
“They’re a 4A school, so they’re big,” he said. “They have some big linemen and will have a size advantage. We need to continue playing fundamentally sound football. If we can play a clean game, that’ll give us a chance.”
Park City’s home opener is scheduled for Friday night at 7 p.m. at Dozier Field.
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It’s going to be at least another month before Summit County’s high school athletes have any chance of getting onto the field again.