The time of football players hitting their teammates in drills was done when another season of Friday Night Lights arrived in earnest Aug. 18. Cedar and Canyon View both came out on the losing end of their opening-night matchups, but Parowan came away with an impressive shutout on the road.
Two of the three Iron County schools saw new head coaches making their debuts – Skyler Miller at Canyon View and Carter Miller (no relation) at Parowan. In no particular order, here are a few key takeaways from the games that were played:
In Canyon View’s opener against the two-time defending 2A champion Beaver Beavers, it was a battle of first-year head coaches in Skyler Miller and Beaver’s Jon Marshall. Clearly, Marshall didn’t have to worry a lot about how his team looked.
On four of Beaver’s first five touchdowns, they scored thanks largely to starting field position well inside Canyon View’s 40-yard line. On the lone time they didn’t have field position, Porter Hollingshead still found Walter LeBaron on a 55-yard touchdown pass.
Miller said his team will have a kicker this season. The offense will need to get in scoring range for him to get any work.
And the same goes for the punter. He’s an invaluable weapon if you’re at fourth-and-1 from your own 29-yard line. It’s a lot harder to find the end zone from 60 yards than 30.
Getting over the hump:
Last year, the Cedar Redmen had problems making the one big play they needed late in games to give themselves a shot at winning.
The pattern seemed to continue against Provo in the team’s season opener.
After converting a fourth-and-1 with Luke Maggio running for 28 yards into Bulldogs territory, Cedar fumbled on the very next play with 1 minute, 34 seconds left and derailed its shot at a potential game-tying touchdown in a 13-6 loss.
While that was the only turnover of the night for the Redmen, they also had a fourth-down play in Provo territory stopped short of a first down earlier in the fourth quarter.
When you get tripped up by the little things, it shows up on the wrong end of the scoreboard at the end of the day.
It’s one, but it was good:
Parowan got off to a roaring start with Carter Miller on the sidelines as they shut down Altamont on the road in a 53-0 win, its best since the end of the 2015 season and first shutout win since the end of the 2016 season – both over the Wayne Badgers.
Miller said before the season began that he would try to instill in his players that every game matters, even if only the last three count toward a playoff berth.
Message received on opening night, that’s for certain.
Record vs. World Series ring:
The Los Angeles Dodgers are in a bit of an interesting quandary as they march toward a bit of serious baseball history.
Despite a 6-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Sunday, the Dodgers still held an 87-35 overall record, a mark within realistic pace of tying or breaking the all-time record for wins in a season.
Here’s the potential trip-up: the 1906 Chicago Cubs and 2001 Seattle Mariners both share the record at 116 wins, but neither team went on to win the World Series. The Mariners didn’t even get there as they were beaten by the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.
The team’s best pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, is making his way back from injury, which should make the Dodgers that much scarier come playoff time. Problem is, L.A. hasn’t seen the bright lights of the World Series since 1988.
So does setting a new standard for regular-season winning mean anything? That hasn’t been proven yet, and it’s a risky proposition to think the Dodgers can prove the skeptics of statistics wrong.
One bad bounce here, a bad break there, and someone else may hold the big trophy in October. That’s why we play the games.
Follow Tom Zulewski on Twitter @TommyZee81 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.