HIGHLAND With a loss to Bingham last week hanging over their heads, the Lone Peak Knights came out fired up to take on their first Region 4 foe. They didn't want to lose two in a row. They didn't want to drop to 3-3 this season. And they didn't want to disappoint their fans at homecoming.
The Knights achieved all of those goals, and it all started with less than 30 seconds gone in the first quarter as Quade Chappuis broke open a run from his own 38-yard line, avoided the Lehi defense and crossed the goal line to give his team a 6-0 lead. From there, the Knights never looked back, finally finishing with a 43-0 shutout.
"It's nice to win our first region game. I'm glad we came back after last week and re-established our running game," said Lone Peak coach Tony McGeary, who was not only battling against the Pioneers this week but also against his own team's injury problems.
The No. 1 injury to the Knights was to starting running back Kade Andrus, who found himself in the hospital last week with a major calf injury, and who will most likely find himself out for the remainder of the season while the injury continues to heal.
"We're optimistic about his recovery," said McGeary, who added that there were several other people banged up players on the team, but he was happy with the way their replacements played.
"We had people step in and establish themselves and do a good job," he added.
The Knights never had much problem scoring, breaking things open with long drives and lengthy plays. Chappuis made a name for himself with the first touchdown, a second touchdown, which he carried in from the one-yard line and a slick interception in the third quarter.
Ryne MacPherson added a 29-yard field goal and four extra points for the Knights. Quarterback Tannon Pedersen and wide receiver Chandler Allphin combined for a pair of touchdown passes, and Pedersen added a third with a three-yard pass to Eric Turbiville late in the second.
"We thought we could take advantage of Lehi's secondary. Our quarterback was cool, we got the blocking we needed, and we made some big strikes," said McGeary.
Jared Fenton finished off the scoring with a seven-yard run in the fourth quarter to give Lone Peak its final margin of victory.
Though Lehi was able to put together some nice plays and a few substantial drives in the game, the Lone Peak defense put together something spectacular to stop five of them. The Knights picked up two fumble recoveries and a trio of interceptions in the contest as Derek Anderson and Greg Gowdy fell on the fumbles, and Zane Mendenhall and Kolton Palmer joined Chappuis in picking the ball out of the air.
The Knights are now gearing up for a matchup of the Region 4 heavyweights as they take on Pleasant Grove next week with a 1-0 region record.The Pioneers will be home against American Fork as they try to better their 0-1 region mark.