By Tom Zulewski
Iron County Today
PAROWAN – The weight of 46 years of frustration was creeping in to the psyche of the Parowan Rams. For the first time all season, Parowan found itself behind on the scoreboard, and the Kanab Cowboys were in control.
In the space of less than 90 seconds, senior Porter Miller rescued his team and wiped away the failures of the past forever.
Miller scored on a 2-yard touchdown late in the third quarter and added a 40-yard interception return for another score on the next possession, and Parowan took control of the 1A South race with a heart-stopping 12-10 victory over Kanab, its first over the Cowboys since the 1971 season.
“Besides my wedding and my kids being born, this is one of the greatest days of my life,” Parowan head coach Carter Miller said between congratulatory hugs and handshakes from supporters in attendance. “I told the kids at halftime, ‘if you don’t believe, stay inside.’ They came out and played.”
The Rams (7-1, 2-0 1A South) fell behind on the third play of the game as Kanab quarterback Tavin Ott found Wyatt Houston on a 61-yard touchdown pass for the 7-0 lead. A blocked punt by the Cowboys would help them push the advantage to 10-0 midway through the second quarter as Cameron Fryer hit a 37-yard field goal.
Despite getting deep into Kanab territory on two occasions, Parowan took the 10-point deficit to the halftime locker room. Doubt may have crept in a little more early in the third quarter when the Rams fumbled and the Cowboys recovered at its own 18.
Enter Porter Miller, front and center stage.
“We were expecting more from ourselves,” he said of the team’s early-game struggles. “Our offense was very slow and one busted play on defense caused the touchdown. Whether we expected more or not, we won. That’s all that matters to me.”
After the Cowboys punted following the turnover, Miller went to work. He nearly went the distance on a fourth-down conversion, but his 2-yard run put Parowan back in the game at 10-6 with 2 minutes, 51 seconds left in the third.
On Kanab’s next possession, an Ott pass went directly to a leaping Miller, who used the sideline and a host of teammates as a convoy for a 40-yard interception return. Although the two-point conversion was missed, Parowan had their first lead of the game with 1:28 remaining in the period.
With a full quarter still to play, it would be anything but easy for the Rams to bury the ghosts of defeats past.
The Cowboys got the ball with 6:21 to play at its own 42 with one timeout. Two penalties would be costly, and a fake punt failed to work, giving the Rams the ball back.
But after the officials conferred, Kanab was rewarded with an extra down. It wouldn’t matter. Ott’s last-chance pass when things were settled was intercepted by Trevor Bassett at the Parowan 40 with 2:30 to play. The Cowboys would get the ball back on downs with less than a second showing on the clock, but the Rams defense held and a wild celebration started on the field.
The win assured Parowan a home game for the 1A playoffs next weekend, and they’ll finish as the No. 1 seed with a victory at Milford on Thursday. The Tigers kept pace with a 55-35 road win at Monticello behind quarterback Bryson Barnes, who threw four touchdown passes and ran for two more scores.
PAROWAN 12, KANAB 10
Kanab 7 3 0 0 — 10
Parowan 0 0 12 0 — 12
K – Houston 61 pass from Ott (Jackman kick)
K – FG Fryer 37
P – Miller 2 run (kick failed)
P – Miller 40 interception return (run failed)
1A South standings
Parowan 2-0 7-1
Milford 2-0 7-1
Kanab 0-2 3-6
Monticello 0-2 2-7
Parowan at Milford, 7 p.m.
Monticello at Kanab, 7 p.m.