HIGHLAND The biggest play in a football game is not always one that finishes in the end zone.
On Friday night, in Lone Peak's 28-13 win over Viewmont, the play that put the dagger in the Vikings' hearts was a 27-yard reception and run by Knights' tailback Kade Andrus early in the fourth quarter on a third-and-30 play deep in Lone Peak territory. Andrus took a screen on the weak side and weaved his way between tacklers and tiptoed down the sideline setting up a fourth-and-three for the Knights back across midfield.
"We knew we had a seam there, we just had to find it and hit the back in the right spot," Lone Peak coach Tony McGeary said.
Andrus' big gain came after Viewmont thought it had the Knights pinned deep and facing a punt. It came after the Vikings had scored two straight touchdowns to close Lone Peak's three-touchdown lead at halftime to one.
And once the Knights had that fourth-and-three situation, they converted when Andrus took another swing pass this time on the right side and rambled for 11 more yards and a first down that clearly deflated the charging Vikings.
"We knew we had to do something to grab that momentum back, and the boys accepted the challenge and went out and got it," McGeary said.
Four plays later, Andrus again caught a short pass out of the backfield from junior quarterback Tannon Pedersen and plowed over tacklers from 15 yards out for a TD that put the Knights back ahead by two touchdowns. In the game-clinching drive, Andrus ran twice and had three receptions for 80 yards.
Lone Peak took its 21-0 halftime lead on two TD passes from Pedersen to Chandler Allphin and a TD run by Quade Chappuis. The first Pedersen-to-Allphin scoring toss came from 14 yards out in the first quarter, three plays after the Knights recovered a fumbled punt. The second, early in the second, was another corner route by Allphin this time from 13 yards out. The drive was set up by an interception by Chappuis on Viewmont's 19-yard line.
With only 23 seconds left in the half, Chappuis accounted for Lone Peak's third score with an 8-yard scamper up the middle.
But after a first half in which Viewmont had only two first downs, the Vikings came out in the second half with a different attack. Behind the scrambling of quarterback Ryan Workman, and some big catches by Dustin Grigg and Jeff Rawlings, Viewmont had Lone Peak fans holding their breath.
Midway through the third Workman ran it in from 26 yards out to cut Lone Peak's lead to 21-7. Then, on the second play of the fourth quarter, on a fourth down on Lone Peak's 18-yard line, the Vikings cashed in again thanks to a perfectly executed trick play. Workman threw a lateral that bounced off the ground to Grigg in the backfield. Then when Lone Peak's defenders came rushing at him, Grigg tossed the ball to a wide-open Rawlings in the end zone.
"I've never seen a play like that before," McGeary said. "We fell asleep when that ball hit the ground. But that was a great call by their coach."
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