Summit Academy (5-4) at Monticello (6-4)
1A state tournament quarterfinal
Friday, 5 p.m.
Parry’s Power Guide: Monticello by 3
All-time series: Monticello leads 1-0
Coach vs. coach: Monticello’s Lee Chadwick leads Summit Academy’s Scott Gorringe, 1-0
Last meeting: Sept. 21, 2012 (Week 6) — Monticello 20, Summit Academy 17
At first glance, the Summit Academy football team may appear to be entering the 1A state tournament this week as an underdog.
This is, after all, just the team’s first year of competition, its first state tournament, and it has already suffered an early season loss to first-round opponent Monticello.
The Buckaroos have been here before while the Bears are in uncharted territory. Plus, their roster has an overabundance of youth.
“Monticello is a good team, and the players are physically and mentally more mature,” said Summit Academy coach Scott Gorringe. “They have been through long seasons, they know what to expect. For most of our guys, this is new.”
The coach was referring to his roster of 54 sophomores and freshmen and just 13 upperclassmen.
“Our age is our biggest problem,” he said. “But that’s not to be used as an excuse. We are at the end of the season, now, and it comes down to us learning how to finish games.”
When the Bears traveled to Monticello in September, not being able to play to the final whistle cost them the victory. Summit Academy held a two-touchdown lead at the midpoint before being outscored 20-3 in the final quarter.
“We prepare the same way we did last time,” Gorringe said. “We know they run the Wing-T, we know they have a decent running attack. I anticipate a physical game we just have to play to the end.”
When comparing rosters, however, it is unclear which team really has the advantage. Though Monticello has a much larger percentage of upperclassmen — 63 percent compared to 19 percent — the number of kids on the Buckaroo sideline is less than half: just 27 total.
Monticello coach Lee Chadwick said his biggest concern is “I don’t know what (Summit Academy) personnel to expect.”
In the Bears’ final game of the regular season against Diamond Ranch, there was a late-game incident in which players left the bench, which can result in player ejections and suspensions.
As of Monday afternoon, the UHSAA was waiting to receive film of the incident before ruling or commenting on possible infractions.
“It doesn’t affect what we do in practice,” Chadwick said. “We play our own game.”
Opposite of what Summit Academy is dealing with, Chadwick said his team tends to start the game flat and find its spark as time winds down.
“We haven’t come out sharp; our focus is to come out sharp in the first half,” he said. “Part of that is we’ve had some injuries and have had to move some kids into positions they are unfamiliar with.”
One of those kids is Austin Maloy. The junior quarterback leads the Buckaroos’ passing and rushing attacks and has 11 total touchdowns.
“He is a great athlete,” Chadwick said of Maloy. “He is best at tailback, but we’ve had to move him around with the injuries. He is a kid teams have to account for.”