For its opening-round 2A soccer playoff game, Parowan had a challenging time dealing with the wind and one basic philosophy in its approach.
However, once players like Tim Byl began crashing the net on offense, the Rams put away their opponent early and moved on to the second round.
Byl won the battle for a loose ball and put it in the back of the net with less than two minutes left in the first half, and Parowan exploded for four more goals in less than 10 minutes of the second half to complete an 8-0 mercy-rule shutout over an undermanned Intermountain Christian team on a windy Wednesday at the Valentine Peak complex.
Wes Byl, one of Tim’s cousins, led the offense with two goals, along with a pair from Bryan Byl, as the Rams improved to 14-1 on the year and will play Wasatch Academy — a 3-1 winner over Layton Christian — at home in a quarterfinal game Saturday.
“We started crashing (the net) more in the second half,” Parowan coach Lawrence Daniel said. “We weren’t doing that as well as we normally do in the first half, but when Tim crashed and scored, the rest of the boys did and that made a difference.”
For a team and program in only its fifth year of existence, Daniel said the challenge of reaching new heights is only beginning.
“Last year we had only 15 players, but finished with 20. Now we’ve grown to 35,” Daniel said. “This team plays together, but this is the furthest we’ve gone.
“As Wes calls it, we’re a brotherhood and we played like it today.”
Tim Byl, who was one of six Ram players to score a goal in the game, said after a fast beginning where the team took a 3-0 lead in the first 20 minutes, the need for a kickstart was there.
“We were all waiting, standing around and watching the ball instead of going for it,” Byl said. “We did better on (going for the ball) in the second half.”
Once the Rams got started — and kept the ball from getting pushed around in the stiff and sometimes gusting breeze — they didn’t stop until the game was called with the big lead.
Cody Hartlmaier opened the scoring for Parowan on the game’s first shot in the opening minute, while Fernando Carillo and Orlando Quezada also tallied goals. Saturday’s game will take place at 1 p.m.