Summit Academy football taking flight

Prep football • Behind quarterback Christian Miller, Bears have been unstoppable.
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Draper • One of these days Christian Miller will get to play an entire game for Summit Academy.

Until then, he'll simply have to be content as the victim of his team's success.

If only the Bears weren't so darn dominant. . . .

In the program's first two games, Summit has scored a combined 129 points to Milford's and Monument Valley's zero points. Miller, the Bears' starting quarterback, has played barely more than half of each game before taking a seat with the outcome well in hand.

"It's a little frustrating, but I know the coaches are just trying to keep me healthy," said Miller, a sophomore. "They don't want me to risk getting hurt when I don't have to. I know where they are coming from, but I would like to be on the field.

"I transferred from Timpview, just looking for the opportunity to play up here."

Summit Academy is playing a 1A schedule, but clearly has talent that could put it in the 3A championship conversation. And that talent starts with Miller, who is 6 feet tall, weighs 170 pounds and is as accurate as they come.

In his first two games, Miller has completed 18 of 23 passes for 511 yards and seven touchdowns. Last Friday, Miller sat after the first series in the third quarter as the Bears racked up 81 points.

"He's a great quarterback," said Summit running back Brodi Strong, a transfer from Bingham. "He's got some power under his arm, too. He's real accurate. I have a lot of confidence in him."

Miller first put his accuracy on display over the summer, as Summit won the junior varsity division of the Ute Shoot 7-on-7 passing camp. The Bears also won a sophomore passing camp in Draper.

"We competed in the 3A down group in the JV and went undefeated," Summit coach Scott Gorringe said. "We would have been more than happy to play the JV winner on the [5A-4A] side. I truly believe, in that setting, we could have been very competitive."

The offensive success is hardly Miller's alone, though. Strong, a senior, carried 11 times for 111 yards against Monument Valley and already has reached the end zone five times.

Strong also caught a 50-yard touchdown pass from Miller in the season opener — one of four scoring passes of 50 yards or more by Miller. Last week, he connected on a 77-yarder to Joe Denos.

Receiver Steven Harp amassed more than 200 yards of total offense and scored three times against Milford.

"I like to be able to throw the ball and when they scoot up against us, we just run it right at them," Miller said. "It keeps us really balanced."

The magnitude of his early accomplishments — starting as a sophomore, in the school's first season — isn't lost on Miller.

"I've worked hard for this my whole life," Miller said. "It's finally getting paid off. I'm just proud of my team. We don't have the biggest guys around, but we have a lot of speed."

The schedule will be tougher as the calendar turns in the coming weeks. The Bears play at Rich is two weeks, and get Duchesne and Layton Christian late in the year.

Those will be opportunities for Miller to play more after halftime. Maybe even an entire game.

"The sky's the limit for him," Gorringe said. "He's a real heady kid. He has the ability to read defenses and make a pre-snap read and decide where he's going. Where he's got an upside is in his maturity. When he starts maturing and gets that adult strength, he's going to be that much better." —

Miller time

Christian Miller has completed 78 percent of his passes in his first two games as quarterback at Summit Academy.

Miller, a sophomore, has played barely more than four quarters as the Bears have outscored opponents 129-0 in their first two games.

Miller led the Summit offense to victories in two passing camps last summer.