When it rains, it pours, and so was the case Friday night as Park City reeled off 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to top region foe Skyline 27-10.
The fourth quarter points totaled more than the Miners had scored in their previous seven quarters this season against the Eagles, which included a 10-6 loss a few weeks ago.
The victory moves Park City forward in the 5A playoffs, where it will face Bountiful next week.
Skyline led the game with a familiar 10-6 score after three quarters and looked to be in the driver seat, but Park City found an answer to spark its offense in the defensive battle when backup quarterback Blake Tabaracci came in and tossed a beautiful pass to the back corner of the end zone where only Will McCurdy could catch it.
“I think we just needed a jump start,” said Park City coach Josh Montzingo of bringing in Tabaracci for the throw.
The touchdown and extra point put Park City on top 13-10 and the Miners kept pushing on both sides of the ball from there. After the defense forced a three and out, the Miners added to their score with a little luck after a Skyline penalty kept their drive alive. The points quickly came when Carson Tabaracci graced the end zone for the second time in the game.
The standout runner had charged in from the 8-yard line for the first points of the night and topped that with a breakout 43-yard run that had the Eagle defenders on their toes and put Park City up 20-10 with 5:58 left to play in the game.
Skyline moved the ball well on the ensuing drive, but the Miners’ defense recorded a huge sack to set up fourth and 14, which the Eagles couldn’t convert. Park City ran the ball soon after to eat up the clock and then booted a great punt that put the Eagles at their own 8-yard line with 2:08 left to play to try and make up two scores.
But the dream of a comeback was short lived as Stone Combs read the first play perfectly and snagged an interception that he ran in for the final touchdown.
“I can’t really take any of the credit for it. I give it to all of the guys,” said Combs. “Our line got pressure on the QB all night, so they just set me up for the opportunity.”
Park City’s defense had a good first half, but turned on the jets in the latter part of the game, led by the defensive line.
“At first, I think we played a little too cautious and that’s more on me than anything else,” said Montzingo. “I decided that, ‘I don’t want to go home. If I’m going to go home, we’re going to go home swinging.’ We brought a lot more heat.”
Skyline’s scores came from Bo Tate on a 1-yard run and Ryan Wiscomb’s field goal.
“Our guys played their hearts out and I’m honored to be their coach,” said Skyline coach John Rowbotham. “Park City is an amazing team. They’ve got some really talented kids, and I wish them the best in the playoffs.”