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Allison Niccum
Lone Peak defeated Pleasant Grove 28-16 in a high school football game on October 12, 2018 in Highland.

HIGHLAND — Lone Peak played a tough game against rival Pleasant Grove in this Region 4 thriller until the Knights scored twice in under 1:30 in the last quarter to move past and win 28-16 at home.

The Vikings scored on their first possession as senior running back Dane Christiansen took the opening kickoff 65 yards downfield to put the Vikings into the Knights territory. On a fourth and four, senior kicker Carson Ecalono kicked a 26-yard field goal, at the 9:56 mark, the Vikings were up 3-0.

The play of the first half came when the Vikings faked a punt on a fourth and long and completed a pass over the middle for a first down into Lone Peak territory. Three passes later, junior quarterback Caleb Campbell kept the snap and scrambled seven yards into the Knights end zone. Senior kicker Carson Ecalono added the PAT and at the 1:20 mark to go in the opening quarter, the Vikings were up 10-0. But that didn't last for long.

On the ensuing kick-off, Lone Peak's junior defensive back Nate Ritchie, who also plays on special teams, took the ball at the 1-yard line, headed back upfield and then ran through several Viking defenders and just kept on going until he crossed the Viking goal line for a 99-yard kickoff return. He took a breath, then added the PAT. That was only his first contribution for Lone Peak.

The Vikings forced Lone Peak to punt once in the opening period and twice in the second quarter with an interception by junior defensive back Matt Smith. With time running out before half-time, Pleasant Grove's QB took a knee and both teams left the field with the Vikings up 10-7.

The Knights and Vikings shared punts to start the third quarter but on Pleasant Grove's punt, it didn't travel too far off the side of the kicker's foot as it left Lone Peak a short field to work with. On the fourth play from scrimmage, Knight senior RB, Kobe Freeman took the handoff and ran through Viking defenders for a 27-yard TD. Ritchie added the PAT and Lone Peak had their second score of the game for a 14-10 lead at the 7:42 mark on the clock.

The Vikings scored once in the third quarter on a 14-yard pass from Campbell to sophomore WR Porter Connors but the two-point conversion was no good, the score stretched to 16-14 with 2:35 remaining in the quarter.

Lone Peak held the Vikings during the fourth quarter. Ritchie had three interceptions in that last period, one he turned into a pick-six, then added the PAT and senior RB Masen Wake scored on an 11 yard trip up the sideline, with Ritchie adding the PAT. Ritchie was responsible for 16 points in this win for Lone Peak. He is a valuable asset to have on this Lone Peak team.

The Vikings had 30 carries for 104 rushing yards plus 15 completions on 35 attempts for 193 yards totaling 297 total offensive yards and 15 first downs.

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Lone Peak had 34 carries for 138 rushing yards plus 11 completions out of 22 attempts for 91 passing yards totaling 229 offensive yards and 12 first downs.

Pleasant Grove now has a 1-3 region record with a 5-4 overall record. Lone Peak has a 3-1 region record and a 6-3 overall record.

This game sets up the postseason tournament beginning on October 26, 218. Pleasant Grove will play East High School in the opening round. Bingham, American Fork and Lone Peak have the same region record of 3-1 and will determine which place they will earn either by their win/loss record as they played each other or by a flip a coin.