Wildcats hold off Morgan in 22-20 road victory
The South Summit High School football team has only lost three games in the past three seasons — one to Beaver, one to North Summit and one to Morgan.
The Wildcats exacted revenge for a 2014 loss to Morgan last season by winning 14-7 in double overtime in Kamas.
But, on Friday night, South Summit had to travel to Morgan for a game — the scene of the Trojans’ 28-21 victory in 2014.
The Wildcats, many of whom haven’t played varsity football until this year, jumped out to a big 22-0 lead and held a 22-6 halftime advantage.
After the intermission, the Trojans continued to fight their way back into the game, scoring eight points in the third quarter and six in the fourth. It wasn’t enough, however, and the Wildcats escaped town with a 22-20 victory.
“For us and our team this year, it’s a great accomplishment,” South Summit Coach Mike Grajek said of the victory. “We’re still really young and making some young mistakes. But, at the same time, the kids are doing great things and coming together really well.”
Senior quarterback Nick Beasley led the Wildcats’ offensive charge, scoring on touchdown runs of one and seven yards and completing a 30-yard touchdown pass to receiver Parker Grajek.
Mike Grajek said Beasley continues to thrive with the ball in his hands in 2016.
“The tactics have changed a little bit — he’s always been an option quarterback in this system,” Grajek said. “Now he’s having to make those decisions further down the field and he’s doing a great job.”
Having weapons like Parker Grajek only helps the passing game thrive, Mike Grajek added.
“They definitely have to be aware of where he’s at on the field,” he said. “It helps enable other kids to take advantage of mismatches they might get in while other teams are double-teaming Parker.”
Despite returning only one starter to the defense for this season, Grajek, who used to coach Morgan 18 years ago, said the Wildcats looked like seasoned veterans on that side of the ball against the Trojans.
“Our coaches are doing a great job and the kids are responding well,” he said. “We knew Morgan was going to have two or three backs as good as [San Juan running back Kavika] Su’esu’e [who scored four touchdowns against South Summit last week] and they did great. [Morgan] didn’t score until the second half. Our kids have huge hearts. There was no quit and we were able to come away with the win.”
One thing the Wildcats must work on, Grajek said, is involving more players on each side of the ball. He said the Trojans were able to claw their way back into the game because the Wildcats were getting tired.
“It’s a huge game of momentum,” he said. “They got a little momentum with the two interceptions. Pound-for-pound, they were a lot larger team and a lot of their players are one-way players while a lot of ours are two-way players. We’ve got to get more kids involved.”
Next week, South Summit hosts Summit County rival Park City in a matchup of undefeated teams. Grajek said the Wildcats are looking forward to the challenge of squaring off against an improved Miners squad.
“They not only have a good defense, they have a good offense, too,” he said. “It’s been a great rivalry in the last three years. We’re both in the same county and the kids see each other at the movies and all around. There’s a lot of camaraderie, but at the same time, they want to show who is the better team.”
South Summit (2-0) and Park City (2-0) will meet in Kamas on Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at South Summit High School.
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