SALT LAKE CITY — From the first time he touched the ball on Lone Peak's first possession until the last time when he helped run the clock out with an outstanding run in the fourth quarter, Lone Peak quarterback Chase Hansen was in beast mode on Friday night.
Hansen accounted for an incredible eight touchdowns in the Knights' 56-41 shootout win over Highland. He beat the Rams with his arm, completing 24 of 30 passes for 386 yards and six touchdowns. He defeated Highland with his legs, rushing 16 times for 171 yards and two scores.
"Chase was phenomenal tonight," said Lone Peak receiver Connor Humphrey, who was outstanding in his own right with three touchdowns. "He's truly the stud of this team; he's the captain, he's our leader. He opens so many things up with his feet and with his arm. He does it all. I don't think there's any other way you can say it other than he does it all."
You could also call Hansen a demoralizer. Any time Highland made it a one-score game, Hansen quickly responded, killing the Rams' hopes. After Highland made it 28-21 with 1:20 left in the second quarter, Hansen directed a quick scoring drive, capping it with a 6-yard touchdown run that featured an acrobatic leap into the end zone from a couple yards out.
"He's a great player," Highland coach Brody Benson said of Hansen. "I don't think we'll see another one like him (the rest of the season)."
Hansen relished the challenge of matching the Rams score-for-score.
"We weren't worried," Hansen said. "We were excited every time we got the opportunity to run out there (on offense). It's never a bad thing for us to run out there and give it another shot."
Despite having one of the best performances in the state so far this season, Hansen took little credit for it. He deflected the praise to players such as Talon Shumway, who saw his first action of the season and had 77 receiving yards and a touchdown. He also credited his offensive line, Micah Hannemann, and of course, Humphrey.
"He's kind of our secret weapon," Hansen said of Humphrey, who had 125 receiving yards. "Not many people know about him. He can put a move on anyone. We get him one-on-one and he can really do anything in that situation. He's too shifty for people to keep up with."
Hansen and Humphrey delivered the dagger in their victory, hooking up for an 80-yard touchdown completion that made it 49-34 with 9:21 left in the game.
It was almost miraculous that Highland was still in the game at that point. Standout running back Sione Houma left the game in the first quarter after a 70-yard kickoff return that set up Highland's first score. He injured his ankle on the play and did not return.
In the second quarter, Rams quarterback Anthony Smithson injured his knee and did not return. Despite the loss of their two stars, the Rams kept fighting.
"I feel good," Benson said. "I think they're (the Knights) playing the best in the state right now. I felt real good about our guys not giving up. There were times when we could have packed up shop and waited for it to be over but we fought until the end."
Justin Weaver filled in admirably for Smithson, throwing for 150 yards. He caught a touchdown pass from Smithson, rushed for two scores and threw two touchdown passes.
"I thought Weaver did a great job coming in," Benson said. "Being thrown into the fire, he showed what kind of leader and what kind of player he is."
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