Miners Football Tops Tooele 46-27 at Home For a Share of Region 10 Championship
Heading into Thursday night’s game, all the Park City Miners needed was one win in its final two games to clinch a share of the Region 10 championship.
But in typical Josh Montzingo fashion, the Park City head coach didn’t want to share the title with anybody. So his message to the Miners prior to kicking off with visiting Tooele was to finish the mission they started out with at the beginning of the season.
Despite injuries to five different starters in the opening half, Park City showed great resilience in taking down Tooele 46-27 at Dozier Field. With the win, the Miners have clinched at least a share of the Region 10 championship, needing a victory next week to win it outright.
“We talk all the time about guys needing to be ready for when their time is called, and that’s exactly what we got tonight,” Montzingo said. “We had some guys go down hurt, but we had so many others step up. We challenged the guys at halftime to get the job done and they responded better than we could’ve expected. … I’m so proud of the boys tonight.”
Park City jumped all over the Buffaloes in the opening quarter.
Senior Kirby Baynes got things started with a two-yard touchdown run, before fellow senior Seth Warner added a three-yard touchdown run less than two minutes later. The Miners got the ball back quickly as sophomore kicker Ryan Skidmore perfectly placed a pooch kick that Warner recovered 20 yards down field.
Junior Max Alford gave Park City a 20-0 lead at the end of the first quarter when he scored the first of his three touchdowns, this one coming on a seven-yard run. The Miners got the ball back in Buffaloes territory after Warner forced and recovered a Tooele fumble.
The Buffaloes got on the board with a touchdown in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 13, but the Miners answered when sophomore quarterback Chase Beyer found Alford for a 20-yard touchdown pass. Tooele then scored with 23 seconds left in the half, giving Park City a 26-14 lead at the half.
“We knew we had to step up. … As players go down, it’s up to the next man to step in and do his job,” Warner said. “Coach talks about it all the time, there’s no JV effort on a Friday night, and that’s what we did.”
The third quarter was filled with drama as Tooele took the kickoff and promptly drove to Park City’s 14 yard line, putting them within striking distance of making it a one score game. But the Miners defense stiffened and stopped the Buffaloes on fourth down.
Warner then took over. After having a 52-yard touchdown run called back on a questionable penalty, he scored for good on a 20-yard run later in the drive.
Leading 33-14 entering the fourth quarter, Alford scored for the final time on a nine-yard touchdown run for the 27-point advantage.
Tooele answered with a touchdown on its ensuing drive, and rather than attempt an onside kick with 4:27 remaining, elected to kick it deep. Warner then put the nail in the coffin with an 88-yard touchdown run two plays later.
“We know games are going to get chippy sometimes, and that people are always going to be gunning for us because we are Park City,” Warner said. “We are always going to get everyone’s best shot and we have to make sure we are ready for that. … Tonight we were.”
The Miners return to action on Wednesday when they travel south to face Cedar Valley in the regular season finale. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
“It’s a big game because we want to be the outright Region 10 champions. … Our main goal has always been to take care of our region first,” Montzingo said. “It’s a short week and we need to get healthy, so we’ll be in the trainer’s room taking care of ourselves. But whoever we have out on the field, we as coaches have confidence that they can get the job done.”