PCHS football takes down Stallions in homecoming win
September 29, 2015
On the heels of the previous week’s 28-6 home victory against Bear River, the Park City High School football team was determined to keep its momentum going for Friday night’s homecoming game against Stansbury at Dozier Field.
Despite a slow start, the Miners played well for the majority of the game, generating plenty of offense and enough defense to hold off the Stallions and earn a big 38-28 victory.
Park City (4-2 overall) improved to 2-1 in 3AA North with the win. Coach Mike Shepherd said he was proud of the Miners’ effort on Friday night.
"It’s a big win," he said. "They played well tonight. They’re just competitors. When you’re a competitor, you step up when the time’s right. All of our players played well tonight, obviously including our receivers. Plus, [quarterback] Spence [Zur] threw the ball great tonight."
Shepherd said he’s happy with the way Zur has mastered the Park City offense.
"He’s a fantastic quarterback," he said. "He’s getting lots of accolades and he deserves all of them. In my mind, he’s an All-State quarterback."
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Zur’s twin brother, Collin, had a big game at receiver, catching nine passes for 149 yards to lead the Miners. Despite missing Grayson Maddux as the team’s featured running back, Shepherd said Root did a great job filling in.
"Jack always runs the ball really hard," he said. "We had him at both running back and sweeper tonight and he played fantastically as well. I can’t say enough about all of our players."
After a Park City punt and fumbles by both teams, Stansbury ended up getting on the board first, scoring on a 22-yard run to take an early 7-0 lead. Then, however, the Miners’ offense started rolling. Kicker Ben Coletta hit a 22-yard field goal to cut Stansbury’s lead to 7-3. On Park City’s next possession, running back Jack Root scored on a one-yard run to give the Miners a 10-7 lead. Safety Harrison Wakefield then intercepted a Stansbury pass to set up quarterback Spencer Zur for a two-yard touchdown run.
With the score at 17-7, the Miners suffered a breakdown defensively, allowing the Stallions to score on an 80-yard run on the following possession. However, defensive end Nesta Heaps forced a fumble on the next Stansbury possession, setting up Zur for a 21-yard touchdown pass to receiver Cameron Maddux, giving the Miners a 24-14 halftime advantage.
Following the intermission, Zur connected with Root for an 11-yard score to make it 31-14 before the Stallions scored on a two-yard run to cut it to 31-21. Park City put the game out of reach late in the fourth quarter, though, when Zur found receiver Beau Pederson for a 44-yard touchdown. Stansbury scored again, this time on a one-yard run, but it was too little, too late, and the Miners held on for a 38-28 victory.
Eli Alford, a junior center and defensive lineman, said the offensive line had a strong game. He said the cohesion among the five linemen has led to a stronger offense this season.
"This past season, we’ve really grown together as buddies, as a family," he said. "We’re doing great and they’re killing it out there."
Defensively, Shepherd said forcing turnovers was critical to the Miners’ success. He praised the defensive line for another strong game.
"We gave up a couple of really long, dumb plays off easy plays," he said. "We have to stop that. Other than that, though, we controlled the game. We just have to get better and more consistent."
"We all had one job to do and we got it done," Alford added. "It works out pretty well when we do that. We just have to keep doing our jobs and we’ll be good. We’ll fix [the mistakes]."
Though Grayson Maddux was missing on the offensive side of the ball after suffering a knee injury against South Summit in week three, he was able to take the field defensively at his regular linebacker position on Friday night.
"That makes a big difference," Shepherd said. "Grayson’s one of our top leaders — a team captain — and just having him on the field is a big deal."
Park City will need Maddux to get back to full strength, as the Miners hit the road for three weeks in a row starting this Friday at Judge Memorial (1-5 overall, 0-2 in 3AA North). Shepherd said it will be important for the Miners to play with the same energy level on the road that they play with at home.
"We just have to have our heads right," he said. "We’ve played well on the road against Preston. We’re a good team and we’ll have to figure out a way to play well on the road."
"We just have to stay focused and get better," Alford added. "That’s all we can do."
Friday night’s game at Judge Memorial is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. Park City’s next, and final, regular-season home game is set for Oct. 23 against Logan at 7 p.m.