Cottonwood football celebrates historic Senior Night with first win since 2018Oct 12, 2020 01:08PM ● By Brian Shaw
By Brian Shaw | [email protected]
Still in the throes of a COVID-19 pandemic, Cottonwood head coach Casey Miller was presented with a choice as the football season neared: hold Senior Night earlier than usual or face the risk of not having it played at all.
Miller decided on the first option. For the first time in school history, the Cottonwood football team held Senior Night on Friday, Aug. 21, its first home game. To the delight of their socially distanced fans in masks, the Colts recorded a 14-12 win over Carbon— their first since 2018.
Compared to the Summit Academy game the previous week in which the Colts scored the first six points—then gave up 40 unanswered—they hung on this time against Carbon to get their first dub of 2020, according to Miller.
"We played well for parts of the game and not well on others," Miller said. "We had to stop them on a 2-point conversion to win it."
After putting a halt to Carbon's first drive of the game by forcing an interception, the Colts galloped down the field early in the first quarter on a mix of runs and passes. Then quarterback Brock Simpson found freshman wide receiver Roman Caywood streaking down the sideline, connecting on a 34-yard pass for a touchdown with 6:34 to play.
Scoring first for the second game in a row, the Colts defense then forced another interception. But more good field position didn't amount to much on the second drive of the first quarter as Cottonwood punted.
However, after pinning Carbon deep in their own end midway through the second quarter, the Colts defense forced a fumble, putting their offense in good shape.
Junior Jordan Larett punched through the Carbon defense for a 15-yard touchdown run with 6:49 to play before halftime. After a comedy of errors in the second half that would be the difference in the Colts victory.
"We found a way to win, but we still haven't put together a good four-quarter game yet," added Miller, whose team has since suffered back-to-back losses to Copper Hills (7-48) on Aug. 28 and Skyline (0-69) on Sept. 4.
"We faced a big, physical [Copper Hills] team and they were able to push us around a bit," Miller said. "We were completely outmatched against [Skyline] and then we played poorly on top of it. Shouldn't have been 69-0 but we let them get after us."
A 28-21 scrimmage loss to Park City JV on Sept. 10 doesn't technically count in the standings for Cottonwood as it continues its eight-game independent schedule, but it's frustrating nonetheless, according to Miller who ticked off several key issues in Cottonwood's losses. "We had more total offense than them," he said. "But we turned it over five times…can't win vs. anyone with turnovers."
In the win over Carbon though, there were some bright spots for the 1-4 Colts, who forced those turnovers to which Miller alluded. A total of three interceptions, one fumble recovery and a field goal block that would prove—along with two missed Carbon point-after attempts—to be the difference-makers on Senior Night.
As the month of September rolls on, Miller added that Cottonwood will now be able to punch against teams at their weight.
"We now play the other four independent teams (Timpanogos, Payson, Providence Hall and Judge Memorial) as well as the Highland JV. We hope to compete and see how we do against similar teams."