Wildcats rout American Leadership Academy
A week after squeezing out a 13-12 home victory against Morgan, the top-ranked 3A team, the South Summit High School football team, the No. 1 2A squad, took its show on the road.
After the excitement of last Friday’s upset win, this week’s road game against American Leadership Academy had all the makings of a "trap" game.
But the Wildcats never lost focus, practicing hard all week and making sure they didn’t slip up at ALA. They routed their opponents, 49-3.
"It took major concentration on the coaches’ parts to make sure we took things one week at a time," South Summit coach Jerry Parker said. "But it was good because we could really focus on the little things last week and made sure we stayed after them."
The Wildcats’ vaunted running game was the key to the offense’s explosion. Junior Colby Averett ran for more than 100 yards and had two touchdowns. Senior Keyton Gines also broke the century mark rushing and added a touchdown.
Senior Carson Freestone only had six carries, but scored on three of them, and junior Quinn Zimmerman had one carry for 28 yards and a touchdown.
Parker said South Summit’s dominant running game begins up front.
"The run game worked really well the second half we just kept widening the gap between them and us," he said. "Our offensive line did an outstanding job."
Defensively, Parker was pleased not only with the way the Wildcats kept ALA out of the end zone, but also the team’s effort outside the red zone.
"Not only did we hold them to three points, they only got approximately 65 yards on offense," he said. "The defense was stellar. I think they only got three first downs, and one of them was on a penalty by us."
Despite the big win, which bumped the Wildcats up to a 3-0 record on the season, Parker said they’ll still be focused on improving this week.
"I think we definitely have to get our throwing game going better the timing and spacing," he said. "It was kind of windy [at ALA] I don’t know if that played a part or not, but we’ll be working on it this week."
South Summit will face off against another 3-0 team this week when it hosts Beaver on Friday night.
"They have really good skill position kids," Parker said. "Their running backs are really good, but their line is new. If we have an advantage, it’s our offensive and defensive lines. But they’re 3-0, so they’re somebody to take serious."
Perennial South Summit rival San Juan lost 10-7 to South Sevier on Friday, but Parker still named San Juan as one of the Wildcats’ biggest threats to the 2A crown, along with this week’s opponent.
"You never take San Juan lightly," he said "They may be down now, but at the end of the season, they’ll be clicking. Beaver and Grand are also solid programs that are well-coached. Grand’s a real threat great running backs and great size."
San Juan defeated South Summit in the semifinals last year, 15-9.
Parker said he also has his eyes on another Summit County squad.
"North Summit they’re doing a good job," he said. "We won’t be looking past them, that’s for sure."
North Summit, coming off a 45-29 win against Gunnison, will visit South Summit on Oct. 11.
This Friday’s game against Beaver is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. in Kamas.
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The Miners ended up on the wrong side of a close game on senior night but are still fighting for playoff seeding.