HIGHLAND — Bountiful and Lone Peak played their 10th-straight season opener against each other Friday night. The Braves were trying to even those 10 at five each, but this night it was all Lone Peak.
The two teams exchanged punches early, but in the end the Knights pounded Bountiful 37-0.
"Coach Mullin did a great job with the defense," said Lone Peak coach Tony McGeary. "We prepared and practiced hard. We just didn't know how good we could be. I was very pleased with the way the defense played tonight."
The Knights' offense sputtered a bit throughout most of the first quarter as Chase Hansen connected on only one of his first six passes, two of which were dropped by his receivers. After that slow start, Hansen was 14-of-17 the rest of the game with one touchdown and no interceptions. He also rushed for 60 yards on 12 attempts with two touchdowns.
"We were a little sluggish with a few dropped passes early in the first couple series," said McGeary. "But we settled down and got things going."
Both teams finished their first three possessions with punts until Lone Peak took over on the Bountiful 45 with 3:25 remaining in the first quarter.
Eight plays and three completed passes later Hansen ran the ball in from the 1-yard line to put the Knights out in front 7-0, which was ultimately enough for the win.
The Knights forced another punt from the Braves to open the second quarter and then scored again on a 90-second drive that covered 70 yards. Austin McChesney ran this one in from the 8-yard line to give Lone Peak a 14-0 lead.
Four plays later Cam Zollinger was in position to punt, but couldn't reach the snap, which went over his head and into the end zone. Zollinger fell on the ball for the safety, giving Lone Peak a 16-0 advantage with just under nine minutes remaining.
Jordan Spencer added another touchdown on the next possession to push the lead to 23-0 and then Hansen connected with Spencer on a 4-yard touchdown pass to make it 30-0 and four straight possessions with a touchdown.
The only score in the second half came on an eight-yard run by Hansen with 6:55 remaining in the third quarter. Hansen didn't play the rest of the game.
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Did McGeary believe his team would score 37 on Bountiful's traditionally tough defense?
"No. Absolutely not," said McGeary. "Bountiful has always been a hard-nosed, tough team and we've had battles throughout the history of the two schools.
"We knew we could score some points offensively. We were happy with the execution of our offense. We've got a good offense. There's no question about it. Chase did a good job commanding the troops and getting the ball into the hands of our guys. He did a great job of reading the defense."