Lone Peak running back Kade Andrus remembers "the feeling."
It came two years ago when he was a sophomore, after he watched the Knights' varsity team stun Timpview 10-0 on Lone Peak's home field. The game was, as the score indicates, a defensive slugfest. And when it was over, the Knights wildly celebrated "the feeling" of beating one of the state's most respected programs.
Since then, the T-birds have won 25 straight games and two state championships, and they are closing in on the state record for most consecutive victories. Tonight, they'll make their first trip back to Lone Peak since that defeat two years ago.
Andrus and the rest of the Knights would like nothing more than to halt that winning streak on their home field.
"Hopefully, we can get that same feeling," Andrus said.
No offense to Timpview's future opponents, but Lone Peak figures to be the last major roadblock in the T-birds' quest to tie the state record for most consecutive victories in two weeks, and then breaking it in three weeks. The Knights, coming off a disappointing season in which they missed the state playoffs, have been one of the state's most pleasant surprises in the first two weeks of the 2008 season.
"They look good," said Timpview coach Louis Wong. "They're very, very athletic, as they usually are at Lone Peak. They have a lot of good athletes."
Those athletes have helped the Knights easily dispose of two quality opponents in Bountiful and Viewmont. Lone Peak's defense didn't give up a point in the first six quarters of the season, while the offense is quickly adapting to new coach Tony McGeary's west-coast scheme.
"We're very comfortable with what we've done the last two games," McGeary said. "Obviously this opponent is going to be a lot tougher than what we've seen. But we're going in it full barrels open."
The Knights are confident in this game because they have been balanced on both sides of the ball so far this season. Junior quarterback Tannon Pederson has shown to have made great strides, and he has developed a strong chemistry with receiver Chandler Allphin and tight end Eric Turyville. Andrus is the key to the running game. On defense, Quaide Chappius anchors the secondary and already has three interceptions this season.
Chappius has the same goal as Andrus tonight to recapture that feeling from two years ago.
"We have to have everyone work as hard as they did that year," he said. "Get everyone flying to the ball on defense. They're obviously good."
You don't win 25 straight games without being better than good. And Timpview expects to be just as strong this season as it was in 2006 and 2007. The T-birds, after squeaking by a tough Pleasant Grove team in their opener, put up 50 points in the first half against Spanish Fork last week.
Quarterback Casey Rumsey, a first-year starter, showed great promise in last week's win over the Dons. Overall, the T-birds are a balanced team and are confident they'll keep their streak going tonight.
"We're confident in what we do and how we do things," Wong said. "We have to play and perform to our abilities. If we do that, I think we'll be OK."
Rich currently holds the state record for most consecutive victories with 28. The Rebels set the mark between the 1994 and 1997 seasons.
OTHER BIG GAMES: Timpview-Lone Peak is one of seven games involving 2-0 teams tonight. Sky View and Logan play for Cache Valley bragging rights in Smithfield. Alta plays at resurgent Kearns. Pine View gets the chance to make a statement against an elite 4A team when it travels to Cottonwood. Copper Hills hosts Hillcrest in a matchup of surprising unbeaten teams.South Summit can show it is for real when it hosts Grand. North Sevier, which has yet to allow a point and looks to be a 1A contender, is at Juab.