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5A high school football preview: Davis at Lone Peak

Published: Thursday, Nov. 1 2012 1:00 p.m. MDT

Davis (9-2) at Lone Peak (10-0)

5A state tournament quarterfinal

Friday, 4 p.m.

Parry’s Power Guide: Lone Peak by 7

All-time series: Lone Peak leads, 1-0

Coach vs. coach: Lone Peak’s Tony McGeary leads Davis’ Ryan Bishop, 1-0

Last meeting: Sept. 1, 2011 — Lone Peak 21, Davis 10

Davis vs. Lone Peak features two teams that are as well-coached as any team in the state. The Darts under long-time coach Ryan Bishop and the Knights who are led by coach Tony McGeary.

Lone Peak is obviously coming off of a state championship and playing strong into the second round of the playoffs. Davis has battled through some injuries and some narrow losses to region foes, but appear primed to give Lone Peak all it can handle come Friday.

"Davis is as well-coached of a football team that there is," McGeary said. "They throw the ball real well and they have a couple of receivers that are just dandy players for them. Their quarterback is real good and it's just a well-coached team all the way through."

The Darts are led by quarterback Gage Cook who presents a duel threat having thrown for 1,623 yards and rushing for another 417 yards this season. They advanced to the quarterfinals after a 38-0 beat down of Kearns.

"We had a lot of injuries early on the season, but I think that allowed us to develop a lot of good depth and I think our team fought through that and were resilient throughout the year," Bishop said. "I think we're peaking at the right time which is what you want entering the playoffs and we're certainly going to need to be at our best to beat Lone Peak."

The Knights won a close one against Brighton in the first round 24-17 and has proven apt to win the close ones throughout the year. Lone Peak managed to eek out victories against playoff-bound Region 4 teams such as Bingham and Riverton.

"We had some dumb penalties last week, but our defense again stepped up big for us against Brighton," McGeary said. "It's been that way for most of the year — we've needed a complete team effort and I'm so happy with how our defense is playing right now."

Lone Peak is on its third defensive coordinator of the year, but the guy leading the defense, Jason Buck, has brought out the best of his players. On offense it's quarterback Baron Gajkowski leading the way along with wide receiver Talon Shumway.

Gajkowski ran for 737 yards and threw for another 1421 on the year while Shumway caught 53 passes for 753 yards and 16 touchdowns.

"They're a team that knows how to execute and their quarterback is very good," Bishop said. "To beat a team that is as disciplined as Lone Peak we're going to have to match that execution. We can't make dumb mistakes and we need to be solid in our special teams."

McGeary believes that if his team simply cleans up its mistakes that it will advance to the next round.

"I believe that in this game that we can only beat ourselves," said McGeary. "Davis is a great team, but I feel that if we take care of business that we'll advance to the next round. Davis will take advantage of any mistakes we make though, but I'm confident that my guys will clean up a lot of the mistakes against Brighton that made that game closer than it needed to be."

Davis statistical breakdown

Scoring offense: 26.2 ppg

Scoring defense: 17.4 ppg

Passing leader: Gage Cook (132-203, 65.0 percent, 1,623 yards, 19 TDs, 7 INTs)

Rushing leaders: Gage Cook (133 carries, 417 yards, 10 TDs), Parker Rose (105 carries, 431 yards, 2 TDs)

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