South Summit football holds off San Juan 35-26
Going into the 2016 season, the South Summit High School football team was ranked by 2A coaches as the favorite to win the 2A North region.
In the 2A South region, San Juan was picked to be the top team.
Fans didn’t have to wait long to see the two powerhouse programs meet up, as the Wildcats played host to the Broncos in Kamas on Friday night in the season opener for both schools.
After going back and forth the first three quarters, South Summit clinched the 35-26 victory on a 17-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nick Beasley to receiver Brandon Dansie.
“That was a great win,” South Summit Coach Mike Grajek said. “The kids responded well. To be able to play a program of that caliber and come away with a win was exciting.”
Receiver Parker Grajek had a big day, catching three touchdowns from Beasley (from 13, 20 and five yards out). Beasley, in addition to throwing for four scores, added a rushing touchdown on a six-yard scamper in the first quarter.
“[Beasley] completed 20 passes, four of them for touchdowns,” Mike Grajek said. “The receiver also worked really hard in the spring and summer to take advantage of that if that’s what defenses are going to give us.”
Though the passing game turned in all the highlights Friday, Grajek said the running attack actually provided plenty of spark, too.
“We ran the ball really well,” he said. “We rushed for almost 170 yards between our quarterback and two running backs [Riley Bayless and Cole Reidhead].”
San Juan running back Kavika Su’esu’e had a big game against the Wildcats, rushing for all four of the Broncos’ touchdowns. Su’esu’e had two scoring runs of four yards and two from one yard out.
However, Grajek said the Wildcats did a good job limiting the big running back.
“We were happy to hold him to only four touchdowns,” he laughed. “He is a big, bruising back. You’ll see a lot more from him during the season. He’s one of the best backs in the state, I think — we just tried to limit him.”
The schedule doesn’t do the Wildcats any favors this week — South Summit will travel to take on 3A powerhouse Morgan. Grajek said he’d like to see the inexperienced South Summit varsity players take another step forward on Friday.
“We did a lot of good things, but with only a few returning varsity starters, we’ve still got to get used to playing varsity football,” he said. “We’ve got to cut down on penalties and improve our execution both offensively and defensively.”
South Summit’s next game is scheduled for Friday night at Morgan. The Wildcats’ next home contest is set for Friday, Sept. 2, against Park City. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. in Kamas.
Park City Mountain Resort is scheduled to start limited summer operations on Saturday, including the operation of PayDay lift for hikers and bikers.