Watch: Summit electrifies Skyview 56-0 in 1st game with fans in 2 years
Jam-packed crowd, loyal student section celebrate Tigers’ dream return home
The 2021 Summit High School football team’s mantra of “be electric” went high voltage Friday night under the lights at Tiger Stadium.
With Tigers fans — and a raucous student section packed to the gills — rattling the bleachers, Tigers senior star Aidan Collins took the first play of scrimmage from the backfield, through a bevy of the Skyview Wolverines’ would-be tacklers, 55 yards to the house to ignite a dominant 56-0 win.
“Going into the week, I wanted to score off the first play of the game. And then when it happened, it was insane,” Collins said. “The energy was in our hands. It was awesome.”
The jolt-of-lightning play — the first of four thrilling touchdowns by Collins — felt like uncorking a pressure-release valve for the rabid community of fans in the stands.
After a five-game 2020 season gutted by COVID-19 regulations, the Tigers were playing in front of their home crowd for the first time in two years.
“They haven’t had a fan base in two years,” third-year head coach James Wagner said as the team danced to deafening music in the locker room. “So it’s just been a long time coming. … And the crowd — I heard them all night long. It makes a difference. It really does. These kids got to experience that again, to be out here competing for the student body and community. What a great thing for this town and community and school.”
Collins followed up his specially schemed rushing touchdown with three dynamic receiving touchdowns from Tigers junior southpaw signal-caller Jack Schierholz.
It was the resounding statement, with Collins’ play, that Wagner and Tigers offensive coordinator Sean Mase made in August training camp: This kid is an all-state contender this year and should have been last year, too.
“He can make himself be open,” Wagner said. “… And when he’s not that open, he’s making outstanding catches. The one catch right over the middle was awesome.”
LIVE: Summit Tigers vs. Skyview Wolverines football Join sports editor Antonio Olivero for our live broadcast of the Tigers home-opener!Posted by Summit Daily News on Friday, September 3, 2021
Collins reeled in that fingertips-in-traffic laser from Schierholz, who responded to a four-interception showing in his first career start in Summit’s 27-0 loss at Delta last week to sling five touchdowns in front of the home fans Friday. After Collins’ opening touchdown, Schierholz settled in to find Tigers junior tight end Zach Elam on a beautiful play-action pass in the Tigers red zone for a 14-0 lead.
The score was a huge one for Elam, who was injured and forced out of action last week as the Tigers grew super thin at the crucial tight end position. Burly Tigers senior running back Alex Sanchez — who sat out the 2020 season amid COVID-19 — then added a rushing touchdown of his own in another example of a kid coming back to have his moment in the spotlight.
LIVE: Summit Tigers vs. Skyview Wolverines football Summit 42, Skyview 0 start of second half Join sports editor Antonio Olivero for our live broadcast of the second half of the Tigers home-opener!Posted by Summit Daily News on Friday, September 3, 2021
Elam also had a pick-six interception at the start of the second half to make the score 49-0 on a play Wagner will never forget.
“I’ve personally been coaching that outside linebacker position for a couple of years now, and to have a touchdown like that defensively, I was so jazzed because it was like a dream come true for me,” the coach said.
Schierholz capped the night with a red-zone touchdown throw to sophomore Jackson Archambault. As for the quarterback, this was the game Schierholz dreamed of after last week’s maiden effort felt like “the ultimate punch to the face.” Schierholz said he had to respond Friday with a vengeance to enable the team, and himself, to have the season they want to manifest.
And in front of the best and biggest student section Collins said he’s had in his four years, the southpaw quarterback Schierholz did just that.
“He’s a captain for a reason: because of his attitude, his mentality, who he is as a leader,” Wagner said. “I know he was wanting that. And he knows that’s the kind of kid and quarterback he’s been trying to be his whole life.”
The Tigers (1-1) didn’t just throttle the Wolverines (0-2) on offense. The Summit defense burrowed through and swallowed whole a Skyview offense that had to adjust to the havoc fast after going down 21-0 in the first quarter.
Wagner inflicted that pocket pressure after he strategically flipped his two premier defensive line leaders and laborers — senior Graham Kalaf and junior Eli Krawczuk. With the speedy Kalaf able to set one edge on the line of scrimmage and the defensive tackle Krawczuk leading Summit’s implosion of the interior of the Wolverines offensive line, the fevered Tigers defenders pitched a shutout.
“It was real fun,” Krawczuk said about the pillaging.
At a certain point, Skyview flanked its quarterback with two running backs. Their exclusive duty was to step one foot forward and weather whatever wallop was next.
And Collins got in on the action with an in-the-perfect-position interception at the free safety spot. On special teams, he took the opening kickoff – the only Skyview kick of the game — all the way back to the Tigers 45-yard line. And he had a punt-return touchdown called back because of a teammate’s penalty.
“Anytime he touches it, you never know what’s going to happen,” Wagner said.
Summit next hosts Aspen (1-0) at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, at home.
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