Hunter (3-6) at Lone Peak (10-0)
5A state tournament first round
Friday, 4 p.m.
Parry's Power Guide: Lone Peak by 33
All-time series: Hunter leads 3-0
Coach vs. coach: Hunter's Les Hamilton and Lone Peak's Tony McGeary tied 1-1. Hamilton was Alta for both meetings.
Last meeting: Nov. 6, 2009, Hunter 45, Lone Peak 37, 4OT (5A quarterfinal)
HIGHLAND — The motto is simple. The message is clear.
Ten down. Four to go.
Lone Peak enters the 5A state playoffs with the No. 1 ranking in the state and undefeated record that came seemingly without breaking a sweat.
The Knights have scored 397 points and have only relinquished 157 points in those ten games. Even more impressive are eight of those 10 teams qualified for the playoffs in their respected classifications.
All of that can easily go unnoticed if the Knights are to slip up en route to playing for a state championship. The first order of business is the first round against Hunter (3-6).
The Wolverines had a difficult stretch to begin the season, dropping their first five games. In that time span, they only managed to score 25 points and posted three straight scoreless games to open the year.
However, since then, Hunter has won three of its final four games including the 28-14 victory over Region 2's No. 1 seed Viewmont.
"Hunter is on a roll — they've become a good football team," said Lone Peak coach Tony McGeary. "They're going to be tough. I think our speed we'll be able to take advantage of, but they're big and strong. I think they're better coached this year than they have been in the past. It's a tough draw first round."
Heading into a game where a team is such a huge favorite — a letdown can easily sneak into the equation. That's something Lone Peak is trying to avoid by focusing on the little things.
"Don't turn the ball over. We need to eliminate our mistakes and hopefully keep our offense rolling — get the ball out quick," said McGeary.
The Knights are led by quarterback Chase Hansen. The senior has scrambled for 798 yards and eight scores on the ground while completing 134 passes for 2,127 yards and 34 touchdowns.
Micah Hannemann, Connor Humphrey and Zac Saunders have combined for 83 receptions for 1,503 yards and 24 scores.
McGeary knows that it's critical for the Knights to establish dominance in the first quarter to kill any hope that Hunter might have heading into the game.
"No question," he said when asked about the importance of a quick start. "They're an emotional team and if you crack the door open and give them a little life — it's very evident in the games that we've scouted, once they get the ball rolling with a little momentum they're playing a lot harder. The quicker we can get on these guys the better."
The two teams will square off Friday at 4 p.m. at Lone Peak High.
Hunter statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 13.2 ppg
Scoring defense: 19.3 ppg
Passing leader: Jairo Tarver (66-131, 50.4%, 910 yards, 8 TDs, 8 INTs)
Tackles leaders: Not provided
Lone Peak statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 39.7 ppg
Scoring defense: 15.7 ppg
Passing leader: Chase Hansen (134-216, 62.0%, 2,127 yards, 31 TDs, 4 INTs)
Rushing leaders: Chase Hansen (109 carries, 798 yards, 8 TDs)
Receiving leaders: Connor Humphrey (33 receptions, 618 yards, 9 TDs), Zac Saunders (27 receptions, 546 yards, 8 TDs), Micah Hannemann (23 receptions, 339 yards, 7 TDs)
Sacks leaders: Colin Bearnson, Ty Crockett (6 sacks)