Facebook Twitter

High school football: Miners have tough breaks, Riverton delivers knock out

SHARE High school football: Miners have tough breaks, Riverton delivers knock out

RIVERTON — The Riverton Silverwolves put Park City on the ropes late in the first half of their season-opener on Friday, and when that happened, boy did the 'Wolves act like they sure knew what to do.

Presented with opportunities to land knock-out punches just before halftime against a talented 3A school, Riverton's players collectively responded like any coach would hope they would — they took full advantage.

Leading by two scores near the end of the first half, Riverton blitzed Park City with three touchdowns over the final two-and-a-half minutes of the second quarter to effectively end the contest before it had even reached halftime. Riverton led 40-7 at that point and cruised from there, eventually winning 54-21 on Friday.

Joey Jenson carried the ball seven times for 101 yards and one TD to lead Riverton's balanced offensive attack, and defensive lineman Zach Erickson batted down three passes, recorded three tackles and had a sack, a blocked punt and a pass deflection to lead the Wolves defensively.

Riverton's performance wasn't perfect by any means, but for a Week 1 outing, it was awfully impressive.

"Everything," said Riverton QB Eric Thoreson, "was good."

Thoreson only saw action in the first two quarters before making way the entire second half.

His contributions in the first half, though, were solid, as he threw for two TDs — including a decisive 17-yard pitch-and-catch to Jordan Bennett with 17 seconds left in the second quarter — and rushed for another score.

He also had plenty of help around him.

Star Tua Laei carried the ball eight times for 84 yards (and scored a defensive TD) and Austin Wilke added 79 yards and a rushing TD.

Other Riverton rushers also contributed before the Wolves' first unit was ushered off the field midway through the third quarter, and they all did their damage behind a terrific offensive line.

O-linemen McKay Burnett, Austin Emch, Trey Sandness, Michael Hogan and Anthony Crawford and tight end Landon Fisher all did an outstanding job of opening up holes for Riverton's running backs to ghost through.

"They played against a pretty good-sized defensive line and dominated," said Riverton coach Mike Miller. "They did a great job, executing well and doing the things we need them to do to make things happen."

Their performance definitely wasn't lost on Thoreson.

"I'll take 'em out for ice cream," he said.

Riverton's O-line paved the way for the 'Wolves to empty their bench in the second half. Over the final two quarters, every single dressed Riverton player made it on the field, all the way down to sophomore QB Zach Cameron, who hasn't yet taken a sophomore snap.

It was a nice way for Riverton to cap a nice night. On the other hand, Friday night was anything but nice for the Park City Miners, who showed themselves to be a talented team that will endure growing pains early on while tackling a brutal preseason schedule.

Miller, for his part, believes Park City will be really tough under first-year coach Kai Smalley as the season moves along.

"Park City isn't a bad team," he said. "They had some tough breaks early that really affected them and hurt 'em, hurt 'em, hurt 'em."