Mike Terry, Deseret News
Riverton (10-1) at Lone Peak (10-1)
5A state tournament quarterfinal
Friday, 6 p.m.
Parry's Power Guide: Lone Peak by 3
All-time series: Lone Peak leads 2-0
Coach vs. Coach: Lone Peak's Tony McGeary leads Riverton's Mike Miller, 1-0
Last meeting: Sept. 4, 2009 — Lone Peak 38, Riverton 26
There may not be a more evenly contested matchup than the Riverton-Lone Peak game in this week's playoffs.
Both the Silverwolves and Knights are 10-1 and coming off of big first-round playoff victories. Riverton pounded West 34-7, while Lone Peak routed Syracuse 30-8. The Silverwolves' only loss this season came against powerhouse Bingham, while the Knights have won eight straight games and are the Region 4 champions.
Riverton scores more points than Lone Peak, but both teams are in 5A's top six in scoring differential. Neither team has any glaring weaknesses, and the game probably won't be decided until late in the fourth quarter.
"I think it's going to be a good one," said Riverton coach Mike Miller. "They're pretty athletic. Lone Peak is a bunch of quick, athletic kids. They're a good team with good-sized kids."
Riverton causes trouble for opponents with its wing-T offense. The unpredictable run-based offense has helped the Silverwolves average 36.7 points per game.
"They're a good team," said Lone Peak coach Tony McGeary. "Obviously, they've got a deceptive offense. We're just preparing to deal with it. They've played well this year, had a good season."
The Knights haven't faced a wing-T offense this season. The closest they've seen is an option attack, and that doesn't fully simulate what Lone Peak will play against on Friday night.
"It's little different than the wing-T, but we've got a base to start with," McGeary said.
Defending a variety of offenses hasn't been too much of a problem for the Knights this season. They've held six of their 11 opponents to single-digit scoring. They held Mountain Crest to 13 points, and the Mustangs have scored more than 30 in eight of their 10 games.
"Geez, they've played well," Miller said.
Lone Peak's offense continues to make strides this season. Quarterback Chase Hansen can beat teams with his legs and arm, and he's got some quality weapons to work with in sophomore running back Talon Shumway and receiver Cameron Deere.
"We're really just coming together, and our execution is getting better," McGeary said. "Our defense is playing well and our offense continues to improve. We just want to keep things rolling and peak at the right time. I feel like we're steadily getting better each week. This is just a great bunch of boys that love to play."
The two teams played each other last season, so there is a little bit of familiarity between the two programs. Lone Peak started fast in that contest, scoring 21 points in the first quarter of a 38-26 win.
A lot has changed for Riverton since that meeting. The Silverwolves have had their best season of football in school history, and they hope it doesn't end on Friday.
"It's good for the school," Miller said of Riverton getting its first playoff win last week. "It's not easy to win in the playoffs. I never thought much about it — everyone else kept asking me. I told my team I'm not going to say a word about playoffs. Last week we played West, now we're playing Lone Peak — not (playing against) the playoffs."
Riverton statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 36.7 ppg
Scoring defense: 16.6 ppg
Passing leader: Eric Thoreson (54-122, 44.3%, 859 yards, 7 TDs)
Rushing leaders: Tua Laei (99 carries, 900 yards, 14 TDs), Joey Jenson (78 carries, 689 yards, 5 TDs).
Receiving leader: Michael Duckworth (6 receptions, 145 yards, 2 TDs)
Tackles leader: Skyler Fullmer (93 total tackles)
Sacks leader: Zach Erickson & Landon Fisher (4 sacks)
Interceptions leader: Preston Young (4 interceptions)
Lone Peak statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 29.3 ppg
Scoring defense: 12.6 ppg
Passing leader: Chase Hansen (125-191, 65.4%, 1,425 yards, 12 TDs)
Rushing leader: Talong Shunway (101 carries, 552 yards, 11 TDs).
Receiving leader: Cameron Deere (41 receptions, 574 yards, 9 TDs)
Sacks leader: Zach Newman & Austin Cloward (7 sacks)
Interceptions leader: Josh Stephan (4 interceptionx)