The Tooele football team took it on the chin in last week’s 47-17 loss to Bonneville and saw its hopes of hosting a first-round playoff game dashed in the process.
But all is not lost for the Buffaloes, who are still jockeying for postseason positioning entering tonight’s Region 11 finale against Park City. The winner will finish third in the region — an important decision, given that the fourth-place team faces a likely matchup with Region 9 powerhouse Dixie in the opening round.
“The whole key is to win the game and come out third and hopefully you can go on the road and steal one in the playoffs,” Tooele coach Jeff Lewis said. “That’s got to be your focus now. We’ve got to make the best of our season and finish as high as we can now. We talked about it as a team — we’re going to make the best of it either way, but hopefully we take care of business and we finish third.”
Things couldn’t have gone much worse for the Buffaloes (4-4, 2-2 Region 11) in their loss to Bonneville, as the Lakers pounced on multiple Tooele turnovers and snapped the Buffs’ two-game winning streak. Tooele was plagued by injuries along the offensive line in that game, and hopes to get two of its three injured interior linemen back against Park City to help get the Buffs’ power rushing attack going.
“We’ll get our center back and possibly one of our guards,” Lewis said. “I’m hoping things will be a little bit more solid there this week.”
Park City (4-4, 2-2) blew past Ogden 44-14 last week, setting up tonight’s third-place game against Tooele. The Miners, who were a pass-happy group a year ago, have employed a more balanced attack this season. Quarterback Mark McCurdy has thrown for 914 yards, 10 touchdowns and four interceptions this season on 64 completions and has rushed for 383 yards and three scores. Chris Quinlan is the Miners’ leading rusher with 588 yards and four TDs on 121 carries.
Tonight’s game begins at 7 p.m. at Tooele High School.