South Summit football routs Bears on Homecoming
After three weeks of lopsided victories, the South Summit High School football team faced off against a tougher opponent on Friday night in Kamas. Playing against Summit Academy in a rematch of last year’s 2A state title game, the Wildcats were tested often but managed to improve to 7-0 on the season with a 49-21 win.
The Wildcats jumped out to an early 21-0 lead before Summit Academy scored for the first time. From that point on, whenever the Bears scored, the Wildcats responded.
"What I liked is that we answered every one of their touchdowns with a touchdown of our own," South Summit Coach Aaron Tillett said. "That’s the difference in the game, when you look at it. They had no momentum."
Another big factor was the ball security displayed by South Summit. Despite periods of rain on Friday night, the Wildcats only threw one interception and had zero fumbles.
"That’s what we’ve struggled with the past couple weeks," Tillett said. "Last week, we were better and this week we were really good. As much as we run the ball, you’re bound to fumble once in a while, but we didn’t tonight."
"We’ve been rolling the last three weeks," running back Isaac Tillett, Aaron’s son, added. "It’s good to have a game like this that forces us to execute."
Tillett started the scoring on Friday with a seven-yard touchdown run. He quickly added a second rushing touchdown, this time from 33 yards out. On South Summit’s next possession, quarterback Nick Beasley scored on a 34-yard run. Following a Summit Academy six-yard touchdown pass that cut the Wildcats’ lead to 21-7, Tillett broke free again, scoring on a 52-yard run on which he broke several tackles.
"I was getting wrapped up and a guy was trying to strip it from me," he said. "One of my linemen came up and hit him off me and, when that happened, I was able to jump off. Then I saw the hole and turned on my track speed and just went to the end zone."
The 28-7 score held up until halftime. In the third quarter, South Summit running back Porter Fitzgerald scored on a one-yard run to put the finishing touch on a nine-minute drive.
"In a game like this, [a nine-minute drive] completely neutralizes their type of play," Aaron Tillett said. "They want to get up and go. We kept the ball for nine minutes and then they went three-and-out. I think they had three plays in the third quarter. We’ll win a lot of ballgames if we can do that."
Following a five-yard touchdown run by Summit Academy, the Wildcats got on the board again, this time on a 30-yard run by running back Matt Lee to make the score 42-14. The Bears proceeded to score again, on an 11-yard pass. Then, for the final score of the game, running back Brady Bess plunged into the end zone from a yard out to put the Wildcats ahead 49-21.
"Offensively, we were just very consistent tonight," Aaron Tillett said. "We had good 10-yard, six-yard plays, just getting first downs. I like that offense a lot. We didn’t have a whole bunch of big plays tonight, but we had consistent plays. Nick Beasley played great tonight. He had some really nice runs and kept getting us first downs. Our offensive line controlled the game again. Every week, we’re smaller than everybody, so credit to our offensive line for controlling the line of scrimmage."
Defensively, the Wildcats gave up more yards than they are used to, but Tillett said the unit played well overall.
"When you’re a passing team like they are and throw as much as they do, they’re going to make plays on you," he said. "We were really happy with our defensive secondary — they played really well and I thought we got decent pressure on [the Summit Academy quarterback]. He’s just good and their receivers caught the ball, too."
This week, South Summit (7-0 overall, 3-0 in 2A North) travels to Fillmore to take on Millard (3-4, 1-2). Tillett said the Eagles will be a physical, run-heavy squad.
"It’s 180 degrees now [from Summit Academy’s passing offense]," he said. "Millard is opening it up a little bit more, but it’s still Millard. They’re a very aggressive team and we’re going to have to meet that. It’ll be interesting to see how we respond because it’ll be a totally different type of preparation than it was for this week."
With a showdown against county rival North Summit looming the following week, Isaac Tillett said it’s important to stay focused and avoid an upset at the hands of Millard.
"It’s going to take proper execution and playing our game," he said. "We can’t get ahead of ourselves. We need to take it one game at a time."
Friday night’s game in Fillmore is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
The lift, called Over and Out, will pick up guests near the base of the Tombstone Express lift and drop them off near the top of Sunrise lift, allowing skiers to more easily descend into Canyons Village.