South Summit continues its undefeated start with win over Emery
The Wildcats are the top-ranked team in Class 2A by RPI
The South Summit football team’s unbeaten record was threatened on Friday, as the Wildcats headed to the locker room trailing Emery at halftime.
Fortunately for the Wildcat faithful who gathered in the stands for the homecoming game, South Summit came to life in the second half.
Thirty unanswered points in the second half fueled a 42-27 comeback victory for the Wildcats to improve to 6-0. South Summit will enter its road matchup against Summit Academy on Friday as the No. 1 team in the 12-team Class 2A, according to RPI, while the Bears (3-3) are fifth.
“We just have to concentrate on this week, this will be the toughest game out of the first seven games,” South Summit coach Mike Grajek said. “They lost to Beaver by two, was leading San Juan at half, so Summit Academy, they’re the real deal.”
South Summit’s defense has dominated so far this season, and it was pivotal in the Wildcats’ comeback against Emery. A pick six from junior Caleby Thompson on Friday and the ensuing successful two-point conversion extended the Wildcats’ lead to two possessions to help put the game away in the second half. The Wildcats’ defense has come up with multiple turnovers in key moments and has pitched two shutouts in 2021.
“Our defense has played awesome, we’ve gotten two shutouts, they played awesome the other night,” Grajek said. “We were down 21-6, and then the defense stepped up and played awesome. Both defense and offense responded well, so it’s been nice, and we’ll be really tested this week, see how good are we really on defense.”
The Bears have scored at least 28 points in five of their six games this season and are coming off a 48-0 shellacking of American Leadership Academy. Summit Academy has scored at least 40 points on South Summit in each of their last three matchups and drubbed the Wildcats by a combined score of 87-34 in the last two. Quarterback Devin Watson is fifth in the state in passing yards with 1,668, and wide receiver Chance Arbon’s 598 receiving yards is 10th.
“We’ve got some weapons that we have to cover, and we’ve got to block, tackle and secure the ball,” Grajek said. “So, we do those three things to the best of our ability, that’s all you can really ask.”
But South Summit has been no slouch on offense in recent weeks. The Wildcats have scored 41.3 points per game in their last three wins, and they have shown that they have some playmakers of their own. Dual-threat quarterback Kyler Sudweeks has thrown for over 1,400 yards this season and is fourth in the state in rushing yards, regardless of position, with 791. In addition to his contributions on defense, Thompson is also Sudweeks’ favorite receiver, registering 667 receiving yards, which is third in the state.
“I tell the kids all the time, the harder we work, the luckier we get,” Grajek said. “We’ve just got to keep working hard, keep grinding.”
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