5A high school football preview: Northridge at Lone Peak

Published: Thursday, Nov. 3 2011 8:00 a.m. MDT

"All I know is they've got a game scheduled for Friday at 4 p.m. and we're gonna show up," he said. "We're not the best team in the state, and we've got a ton of guys playing both ways and a lot of injuries we're dealing with. But one thing I know about my kids is they're going to show up and play their butts off, and they care about each other. I mean, what more could a coach ask for?

"They've got some really good players, but we've got some guys who can make some plays, too. So it comes down to a matter of can our playmakers stop their playmakers? The game has the potential to be a shootout, but that favors them, so I'm hoping for crappy weather and a sloppy game.

"They're so explosive and can score so quickly, so we don't want to fall behind and have to try and play catch-up, because when you do that, it makes you one-dimensional," Thompson said. "We can't have any special teams miscues or turnovers."

The Northridge coach knows that, as one of only eight 5A teams that are still in the state title hunt, anything can happen. Nobody's giving Northridge much of a chance, but Thompson's not looking to throw in the towel by any means. After all, nobody's unbeatable and upsets occur in sports all the time.

"At this time of year, everyone's got that light in their eye and wants a chance to win it all," Thompson said. "And if you're going to win it all, you've got to go through Lone Peak. I'd just as soon play 'em in the quarterfinals, because then maybe you can sneak up on 'em.

"They've got 42 seniors on their roster, and they start almost all seniors," he said of Lone Peak's lineup. "They're a group of kids that have been playing together for a long time. The Hansen kid is a game-changer, but we feel like we've got a really good game plan that can contain him.

"So it may be a lot closer than most people think. We're going into this game with an attitude of 'Why not us?' "

The two teams have faced two common opponents this season — one with very similar results, the other with a vastly different outcome.

Lone Peak defeated Davis 21-10 early in the season, and Northridge also dumped the Darts 21-14 in their Region 1 finale. But while the southern Knights knocked off Mountain Crest 35-14 early in the season, the northern Knights were stampeded by the Mustangs 38-14 in their regular-season finale.

Northridge statistical breakdown

Scoring offense: 30.1 ppg

Scoring defense: 23.6 ppg

Passing leader: Karson Casteel (175-293, 59.7%, 2,681 yards, 22 TDs, 4 INTs)

Rushing leaders: David Adams (164 carries, 1,168 yards, 11 TDs), Karson Casteel (33 carries, 143 yards, 9 TDs)

Receiving leaders: David Adams (52 receptions, 719 yards, 7 TDs), Christian Schlicte (42 receptions, 911 yards, 4 TDs)

Tackles leaders: Austin Tate (106 total tackles), Kalen Larsen (97 total tackles)

Sacks leaders: Dallas Clark (5 sacks)

Interceptions leader: Jaeger Allred, Cody Bialcak, Zach Hayes (2 interceptions)

Lone Peak statistical breakdown

Scoring offense: 40.7 ppg

Scoring defense: 14.8 ppg

Passing leader: Chase Hansen (139-229, 60.7%, 2,201 yards, 33 TDs, 4 INTs)

Rushing leaders: Chase Hansen (118 carries, 900 yards, 10 TDs), Kurtis Taufa (35 carries, 377 yards, 1 TD)

Receiving leaders: Connor Humphrey (33 receptions, 618 yards, 9 TDs), Zac Saunders (28 receptions, 574 yards, 9 TDs), Micah Hannemann (24 receptions, 353 yards, 8 TDs)

Tackles leaders: Matt Gowdy (85 total tackles), Kurtis Taufa (73 total tackles)

Sacks leaders: Kurtis Taufa, Ty Crockett, Collin Bearnson (6 sacks)

Interceptions leader: Andrew Schirmer, Brody Berry (5 interceptions)

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