That was super fun. That’s a heck of a team. That was a dogfight, one of the funnest games I’ve ever coach in. It was back and forth, very well-coached, just a great game. —Lone Peak head coach Bart Brockbank
PLEASANT VIEW — Lone Peak is pretty much a regular when it comes to advancing to the high school football semifinals, but it had to grind and grind on the road on Friday night to escape a feisty Weber squad.
Lone Peak dominated defensively after a rocky start and then offensively rode Masen Wake for four quarters as the Knights prevailed 26-17 to advance to next week’s 6A semifinals.
Wake carried the ball 28 times for 194 yards and one touchdown, including 21 carries and 167 yards in the second half as Lone Peak methodically wore down Weber’s defensive line.
“He’s just such a hard back because he has good speed and he’s huge. So a lot of people don’t realize when he’s coming out them he can juke and get away,” said Lone Peak coach Bart Brockbank.
Just as important was the effort from Lone Peak’s defense, which recorded five sacks, grabbed one interception and held Weber to less than 200 yards of offense.
Weber’s defense got its fair share of big stops as well throughout the night, keeping the score close until the offense found some rhythm. That finally happened midway through the second half as Brandt Opheikens hauled in a 5-yard TD pass from Austin Bartholomew 13 seconds into the fourth quarter, with the resulting two-point conversion pass from Bartholomew to Hudson Schenck tying the game at 17-17.
Lone Peak’s offense had the perfect response, going 80 yards in 30 seconds with Cody Collins hauling in a 24-yard TD pass from Brock Jones to regain the 24-17 lead. It was the second TD hookup in the half between the two, the first coming midway through the third quarter for the 17-9 lead.
“We felt like we’d seen some things in the drive before that we felt we could take advantage of, and we came out and watched to get our tempo up so we could keep them in that base defense,” said Brockbank.
Jones struggled in the first half, only completing 2 of 13 passes for 77 yards, but he was terrific in the second half as he finished the game 15 of 31 for 230 yards and two TDs.
“Tonight, he came in for whatever reason he was on top of the ball and throwing it low, and he was missing receivers he normally doesn’t miss; we also has some really uncharacteristic drops today,” said Brockbank.
After going down 24-17, Weber had two possessions to rally. The first resulted in three straight incompletions, and, during the second, Lone Peak recorded two sacks and then forced an intentional grounding in the end zone for the safety with 3:53 remaining.
“That was super fun. That’s a heck of a team. That was a dogfight, one of the funnest games I’ve ever coach in. It was back and forth, very well-coached, just a great game,” said Brockbank.
Weber had a dream start on Friday. On the fourth play from scrimmage, Carter Green burst up the middle for a 57-yard TD run to give Weber the 7-0 lead.
The Warriors' defense then held Lone Peak a three-and-out, but, on fourth down, the snap sailed over the punter’s head for the safety and a 9-0 lead for Weber.
Weber’s offense only mustered up three first downs the rest of the way though, as Lone Peak’s settled down quickly after the big Green run.
“We told our guys you have to come out strong, and we came out a little tight. It’s almost like when you get punched in the face you loosen up, and then our defense came back strong,” said Brockbank.
On Lone Peak’s first possession after the safety, it marched 56 yards in eight plays to cut the deficit to 9-7 on a Wake 7-yard TD run with 5:25 left in the opening quarter.
Late in the first quarter, Lone Peak’s Nate Ritchie set his team up with great field position by picking off Weber’s quarterback on third and 15 and returning the ball to Weber’s 10 yard line. Lone Peak settled for a Josh Mortenson 25-yard field goal, but it maintained the 10-9 lead until halftime and never trailed again.