South Summit Wildcats claw past Eagles
Coming into this season, everyone knew the South Summit High School football team had plenty of returning offensive weapons. Key players from last year’s state championship team like quarterback Ty Jones, receiver Bracken Santos and running backs Colby Averett and Isaac Tillett are once again scoring plenty of touchdowns for the Wildcats.
But, in showing off their seemingly endless depth at the skill positions, the Wildcats have worked guys like Quinn Zimmerman and Matt Brady into the mix this year.
And, on Wednesday night in Kamas, South Summit added yet another weapon to its arsenal. In a 42-9 romp over the Millard Eagles, Ethan Miles scored two touchdowns on passes from Jones.
"We have some kids that can go," South Summit coach Jerry Parker said. "We’re fortunate right now we have great skill kids and our line is doing a fantastic job. It’s coming together."
Parker added that he’s been waiting for Miles to have a breakout game.
"Ethan has been a quiet one all along," he said. "We knew he was there, it was just a matter of how to pick and choose who to give the ball to."
"I was really impressed [with Miles]," Jones said. "We’ve been working on it and saying we’re going to get a touchdown. I always get good routes and catches from him, but he just got after it today and finished a couple."
After Halen Rockhill intercepted a Millard pass on the first play of Wednesday’s game, Santos got the scoring started for the Wildcats, finding the end zone on a two-yard sweep play. Then it was Jones’s turn. The shifty quarterback made it to the second level, weaving in and out of his blockers and scampering 44 yards to pay dirt.
That’s when Miles got into the mix, snagging an 11-yard pass from Jones on a slant route and cruising into the end zone untouched.
Jones added a second touchdown run, this one from three yards, late in the first half to give the Wildcats a 28-3 halftime advantage. After the game, he said he can’t remember ever running the ball that well.
"I feel like it might be [my best rushing game]," he said. "I had a lot of yards and I’ve been working really hard at it."
In addition to the 44-yard touchdown run, Jones had a couple other big gains on the ground. Those are the moments a runner lives for, he said.
"It’s awesome," he said. "You just don’t expect it. You see something break out and you just hit it hard."
Though Jones thinks Wednesday might have been his best performance on the ground, his coach disagrees. Parker said he’s seen Jones run the offense really well over the past two years.
"Teams know we’re fast on the outside, so they’re taking that away," he said. "And they know we’re strong on the inside, so they’re taking that away. But, on the option, there’s one option left that’s Ty, and he’s a good one. He’s done a good job all year of just being the general. There are times he could have ran, but that’s not what the play dictated, so he let somebody else carry it. He’s been awesome that way."
Miles’ second touchdown catch came on a 43-yard bomb from Jones in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Tillett sprinted to the end zone from 51 yards out for the Wildcats’ final score.
After being plagued by holding penalties in recent weeks, the Wildcats were only flagged for one on Wednesday. Parker said all of the South Summit blockers played a great game.
"I thought both the line and the skill positions did a good job blocking," he said. "They did a great job with that and I thought the officiating crew did a great job [letting the kids play], too."
Defensively, the South Summit starters only gave up three points to Millard, with the Eagles’ other points coming against backups. Parker said he has very few concerns about that side of the ball.
"Our defense is stellar," he said. "With this defense, we can open things up offensively because we’re not in fear of the outcome. They study hard, do their homework, watch film and do a good job."
Because the Wildcats won the 2A North region, they’ll now have a bye week in the first round of the playoffs. They won’t play again until Halloween against a to-be-determined opponent. Parker said the break isn’t ideal, but it will give the team a chance to regroup.
"You want to keep them motivated, but you don’t want to burn them out," he said. "You’ve got to keep them sharp. It’s hard, but [having first-round byes] is something we’re getting accustomed to, so we’ll do our best."
For Jones, a senior, there won’t be any complacency come playoff time. After winning a 2A state title as the quarterback as a junior, Jones said doing the same thing as a senior would be even sweeter.
"I just don’t want it to end at all," he said. "I want it to keep going forever. I love my team and want to keep playing with them."
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