HIGHLAND — It was supposed to be a shootout with both teams averaging more than 30 points per game, but in the end it was defense that won it for Lone Peak in the battle of the Knights Friday night.
Chase Hansen led Lone Peak to a 21-14 win over Northridge with two touchdown passes and another rushing touchdown in the second round of the 5A state playoffs.
"He just takes charge of the offense and gets it done," said Lone Peak coach Tony McGeary.
Hansen threw for 158 yards on 12-of-21 passing and rushed for 101 yards on 19 attempts.
Lone Peak started the game as if it was going to put a beating on Northridge. Connor Humphrey returned the opening kickoff to the 42 and three plays later Hansen had his team on the five. After Talon Shumway carried the ball to the three, Hansen ran it in to give Lone Peak a 7-0 lead.
That was all Lone Peak could muster in the first half. Hansen fumbled the ball on Lone Peak's next possession and threw his only interception of the game to Dayan Lake with just under three minutes left in the opening half.
"No one felt worse than he did on some of those turnovers," said McGeary. "But he redeemed himself and we're happy he did."
Hansen's interception led to the touchdown that pulled Northridge even at 7-7 in the first half. Lake hauled the interception in on the Northridge 30 and his team began a frantic drive to tie the game. Karson Casteel connected with four different receivers on the drive that culminated in a Casteel to David Adams touchdown from six-yards out.
"Offensively we shot ourselves in the foot," said McGeary. "We had turnovers, interceptions and penalties that hurt our drives. Our defense played well and there were some bright spots offensively when we got it done. We held them to 14 and we're happy with that."
Lone Peak started the second half with an onside kick that was recovered at midfield. Five plays later Hansen connected with Zac Saunders in the end zone to put Lone Peak ahead 14-7.
Northridge tied it up late in the third quarter. Casteel connected with Christian Schlicte on a 40-yard pass and Bobby Lacrois on a 14-yard pass before Luis Gutierrez scored from the nine.
Northridge made an amazing goal-line stand on Lone Peak's next possession, holding them four times inside the five, but could not move the ball after Lone Peak turned it over on downs.
After a poor punt that gave Lone Peak the ball on the Northridge 23, Saunders had a 12-yard run followed by an 11-yard touchdown pass from Hansen to Saunders which proved to be the winning score as Lone Peak took a 21-14 lead.
Northridge had one other great chance to score in the final minutes, but was hurt by an offensive pass interference call that essentially ended the game for them.
"They're a great team," said McGeary about Northridge. "They played us well. They played us tough. They didn't give up the big play. They kept all of our guys in front. We broke a few tackles for some big gains, but that was it."
Lone Peak stays undefeated at 12-0 while Northridge finishes its season at 8-4.