High school football: Lone Peak beats Pleasant Grove 27-17 in comeback win
On the first play of Pleasant Grove's first possession, Viking quarterback Jeremiah Evans took the snap, took three steps back and launched a perfect spiral pass to senior wide receiver Spencer Romney, who hauled in the pass and outran the Lone Peak Knights' defenders for a 69-yard touchdown. Senior kicker Cesar Madrigal added the extra point, and the Vikings were on the board with the early lead. It stayed that way through the end of the first quarter.
The Vikings had the ball to start the second quarter, and at the 9:52 mark in that period they handed the ball off to senior running back TJ Wind, who plunged over the middle of the pile, scoring the Vikings' second touchdown of the game.
At that point, with the Vikings feeling pretty good, Lone Peak head football coach Mike Mower started telling his players, "Don't ever give up, never quit. If you never give up, you will always be in it."
With that encouragement in their heads, the Knights got the ball back, worked their way back downfield and, at the 7:34 mark in the second quarter, senior quarterback Baron Gajkoswki crossed the goal line on a five-yard scamper and Braxton Berry added the extra point to start their scoring.
Pleasant Grove had the ball twice more during the second quarter but could not come up with another score. Time ran out as the Vikings stopped a fake field goal play by Lone Peak, with the score 14-7 for Pleasant Grove.
The third quarter was busy for the defensive teams on both sides. The solo score was a 26-yard field goal from Pleasant Grove's Madrigal. At the end of the third quarter, the Vikings were leading 17-7.
The Vikings had the ball to begin the last quarter but went three and out, punting the ball away. This is when Lone Peak's offense gained its confidence. On the 12th play of this posession, and running nearly 6 minutes off the clock, senior running back Erik Ostrom took the ball and ran 22 yards on the outside and into the endzone with 6:34 remaining to play. Berry added the extra point and the Knights were back in the game, down by just three points 17-14.
The Vikings had the ball and ran off six plays but could not generate enough yardage, so they punted the ball back to the Knights.
On Lone Peak's previous score, it had captured the momentum. Five plays later, on the Vikings' 35-yard line, Gajkoswki called his own number, stepped around the defenders and raced 35 yards to paydirt, scoring the go-ahead touchdown with Berry adding another PAT. With 3:03 showing on the clock, Lone Peak moved ahead of the Vikings 21-17.
"My teammates did it all for me," said Gajkowski. "They blocked for me and I only made one move and made it to the open field. We played lousy in the first half, but I had faith in my teammates and we finally pulled out in front."
"My QB sure knows how to pick an opening," Mower said. "Our offense sputtered a bit to get going, but once they started to click, they did great."
The Vikings got the ball back after Lone Peak's touchdown, but could not move the ball enough and turned the ball over to Lone Peak on downs. At the 2:00 mark, Ostrom ran the ball four yards up the middle and Berry added the final PAT for the game, securing the win. Gajkoswki took a knee three times as Lone Peak got the ball back again on an interception, then celebrated the win over Pleasant Grove.
Mower had great praise for the defensive team, saying, "They kept us in the game right from the start. They never gave up."
Lone Peak now has a 2-2 record in Region 4 and 4-3 overall. It will play Timpview on the road next Wednesday. Pleasant Grove has 1-2 record in region play and a 5-2 record overall. It will host Westlake next Wednesday beginning at 7 p.m.
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and reports on Pleasant Grove High School Varsity sports for Deseret Connect.