LOGAN The beginning of the game did not go the way the Logan Grizzlies planned, but they prevailed because they didn't let that bother them.
With their first possession, the Park City Miners moved the ball 75 yards in a series of plays that ended with junior running back Dylan Chynoweth scoring a touchdown on a two-yard run. The Grizzlies answered immediately when quarterback Jeff Manning connected with Stephen Gwynn on a 90-yard pass play and touchdown that tied the game at 7 all in the first few minutes.
"That (touchdown) was huge," said Logan head coach Mike Favero. "We jumped off-side twice and then Manning found Steve Gwynn, who did a great job of getting up the field. That was a real shot of energy."
His players agreed that answering a quick touchdown with one of their own helped them remain in control and composed to take a 38-14 win Friday.
"I think that play was huge," said Manning. "They scored and had some momentum, but once we got that play, the momentum swung right back to us."
Receiver and kicker Josh Thompson said he was a little surprised Park City scored so quickly on the Grizzlies' defense.
"I was a little nervous, but it's four quarters," Thompson said. "You have to play the whole game."
Thompson said the key to the Grizzlies success Friday night was what they did all week.
"(Coach) Fav prepares us," said Thompson. "That's how we win games. It doesn't just happen on Friday night."
Thompson snagged a 28-yard pass over a Miner defender with 12 seconds left in the second quarter and then turned around and kicked the extra point.
"Last week I missed one after I caught a pass," he said. "I just had to try and stay focused."
One factor for the Grizzlies was the fact Chynoweth rushed for 110 yards in the first quarter and after that Logan essentially neutralized the speedy, athletic junior.
"We had a great defensive performance tonight," said Favero. The Grizzlies also moved Ian Haderlie from outside linebacker to inside where he teamed up with Taylor Peacock and led that defensive effort. Peacock had two quarterback sacks and a fumble recovery.
"Taylor played with great passion and energy and that's contagious," Favero said.
Manning threw three touchdown passes and rushed for two others as the Logan offense completely overwhelmed the Park City defense. One factor may have been the fact the Miners have nine players who play both offense and defense. Several members of the team were also suffering from the flu. The Grizzlies said they noticed the Miners getting a bit tired, especially in the second half.
While Manning said the team still had a lot to improve, Favero was pleased with how the team handled falling behind right from the start."Our guys don't panic," Favero said. "You're going to get scored on. You just have to play hard and stay consistent ... for four quarters."