The interceptions were huge. We knew coming in that their offense was high-powered, so we knew it was going to be a turnover here and a turnover there that was going to flip the game to one side or the other. —Lone Peak head coach Bart Brockbank
HIGHLAND — In a game that produced 87 combined points and huge chunks of yardage, it was the Lone Peak defense that turned the tide in securing a 53-34 win over Region 4 rival American Fork on Friday night.
Sure, Lone Peak quarterback Brock Jones showed prolific in tossing four touchdown passes and directing an offense that didn't punt one time throughout the contest. But it was the Lone Peak defense, and specifically three interceptions, that clinched things and eventually proved the difference in what was otherwise an offensive shootout.
“The interceptions were huge,” said Lone Peak coach Bart Brockbank. “We knew coming in that their offense was high-powered, so we knew it was going to be a turnover here and a turnover there that was going to flip the game to one side or the other.”
The first big interception came from Chase Tucker with 3:08 left in the half. Lone Peak held a 21-20 lead, but the Cavemen were driving and appeared poised to take back the lead into the break.
A few plays later saw the Lone Peak take advantage of the opportunity provided, with Jones hitting Cody Collins with a 15-yard touchdown pass to put the Knights up 27-20. The interception and ensuing score helped snatch back momentum and get Lone Peak in gear.
“I feel that kind of turned the tide,” Brockbank said. “We got hit in the face, hit them right back and came back, and won.”
The second Knight interception largely sealed the game for the home team. This time it was Jared Fotu stepping in front of a pass and returning it 46 yards for a touchdown, which put the Knights up 53-34 with 4:47 remaining.
“The pick six was enormous because it literally breaks a team’s back,” Brockbank said.
Fittingly it was another interception by Jacob Mumford with 3:20 remaining which truly ended things, as the Knights came away with a big win to start off Region 4 play.
“It’s huge. Our first goal is to always win a region championship and in this region you have to win every game to win a region championship,” Brockbank said.
As for Jones, the senior starter looked poised in the pocket all night, using his arm to dice up the Caveman defense effectively and with consistency. Jones exploited the middle of the field primarily, throwing for big gains to a variety of receivers.
“He studies a lot of film and he knows what the defenders are doing,” Brockbank said of his quarterback. “He just manages the offense so well. We try and be fairly balanced, and I assume tonight we were, but he manages the game as well as any quarterback I’ve coached.”
Jones preferred to deflect attention off himself, preferring to give credit to his teammates while giving praise for the opponent.
“The line protected me all night and we just have so much speed and so many weapons. They can’t guard everyone,” Jones said. “We have a lot of respect for American Fork and Bronson is a great quarterback, and he played well tonight. That’s a great team over there.”
With the win, Lone Peak improves to 5-1 overall and 1-0 in Region 4 play. Next up is what's sure to be a big test in taking on Bingham on the road. American Fork falls to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in Region 4 play, with the loss.