Pleasant Grove (8-4) vs. Lone Peak (8-3)
6A state tournament semifinal
Thursday, 2:30 p.m. (At Rice-Eccles Stadium)
Parry’s Power Guide: Lone Peak by 6
All-time series: Lone Peak leads 17-5
Coach vs. coach: Lone Peak’s Bart Brockbank leads Pleasant Grove’s Mark Wootton, 2-0
Last meeting: Oct. 12, 2018 — Lone Peak 28, Pleasant Grove 16
Quarterback play often makes a world of difference in any football team's success and certainly did with Pleasant Grove this season. The Vikings have proven one of 6A's best teams, evidenced by being one of the last four teams standing, although the team struggled when not having quarterback Jake Jensen in the lineup.
The low point for the Vikings this year came when Jensen got hurt in a blowout loss to American Fork and then the following week when losing to Lone Peak 28-16, which Jensen sat out.
"He's just a real calming influence for us out there," said Pleasant Grove coach Mark Wootton. "He's had to battle through a lot of things since starting for us at a young age, but he keeps battling back and getting better. I think he came back as best as he's ever been after getting that shoulder injury earlier, and that's a great thing to have at this point of the season."
Playing at Rice-Eccles Stadium is also a great opportunity for the Vikings, with players expressing how big of a deal it was for them following their quarterfinal win over Fremont.
"It's why you work so hard in the offseason and then before that," Wootton said. "Our kids are locked in, though, believe me. Of course they're happy, but our win over Fremont didn't lead to any big celebration. Our kids remain focused on their goal, and we're not just happy to be at Rice-Eccles Stadium to play just one game."
A second game at Rice-Eccles would come with a win over Lone Peak, which is a team playing as well as anyone in the state currently.
"I like how we've been playing, but I'm certain Pleasant Grove likes how they're playing," said Lone Peak coach Bart Brockbank. "Usually you have a team separated a bit from the others at this point of the year, but I really don't see that as much this time around, and certainly don't see it in our matchup against Pleasant Grove."
Brockbank believes his team's best chance comes with putting forth a complete team effort.
"We need to be good in all phases. We can't have one unit play really well and the other unit not play well, and that absolutely goes for our special teams," Brockbank said. "Pleasant Grove is solid everywhere, and we have to match that and make sure we don't have any big mistakes. When teams are as evenly matched as we believe Pleasant Grove is with us, you can't afford to have dumb mistakes."
Lone Peak will be led by talented players like defensive lineman Michael Daley, safety Nate Ritchie and linebacker Jared Fotu.
"They're really fast defensively and that causes you a lot of problems," Wootton said. "Everyone knows and talks about their defense, but on offense they have a lot of great talent as well."
Leading the Lone Peak offense are standout running backs Masen Wake and Kobe Freeman and receiver Thomas Doman, among others.
"We're excited and think it's going to be some great football, along with Bingham and American Fork and their game," Brockbank said. "It's a great time of the year and we're so fortunate to be here, but we're not satisfied and I'm sure that's the same view Pleasant Grove is taking. It should be a great day of football."
Pleasant Grove statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 32.2 ppg (5th in 6A)
Scoring defense: 20.4 ppg (7th in 6A)
Passing leader: Jake Jensen (125-205, 61.0%, 2,240 yards, 21 TDs, 3 INTs)
Rushing leaders: Dayne Christiansen (185 carries, 1,267 yards, 16 TDs)
Receiving leaders: Jackson Hill (33 rec., 733 yards, 5 TDs), Dayne Christiansen (39 rec., 558 yards, 11 TDs), Easton Fowler (37 rec., 680 yards, 3 TDs)
Tackles leaders: Maika Tauteoli (55 tackles), Matt Smith (54 tackles)
Sack leaders: Josh Hutchins (3 sacks)
Interception leaders: 3 tied with 2
Lone Peak statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 29.3 ppg (7th in 6A)
Scoring defense: 17.4 ppg (2nd in 6A)
Passing leader: Braden Siri (79-156, 50.6%, 1,059 yards, 12 TDs, 8 INTs), JD Neeleman (53-84, 63.1%, 649 yards, 5 TDs, 3 INTs)
Rushing leaders: Masen Wake (147 carries, 1,1,006 yards, 8 TDs), Kobe Freeman (61 carries, 453 yards, 3 TDs)
Receiving leaders: Thomas Doman (34 rec., 528 yards, 6 TDs), Trajan Hansen (25 rec., 317 yards, 4 TDs), Kobe Freeman (27 rec., 317 yards, 3 TDs)
Tackles leaders: Jared Fotu (68 tackles), Michael Daley (56 tackles)
Sack leaders: Michael Daley (18 sacks), Jared Fotu (8.5 sacks)
Interception leaders: Nate Ritchie (5 INTs)
Felt’s Facts for Pleasant Grove High School
Head coach: 2016-current — Mark Wootton (20-17)
All-time record: 396-388-11 (78 years)
Region championships: 14 (1955, 1956, 1957, 1973 co, 1982 co, 1986 co, 1988 co, 1993 co, 1994, 1998, 2006, 2007 co, 2008, 2013 co)
Playoff appearances: 35
Current playoff appearance streak: 3 (2015-2018)Comment on this story
All-time playoff record: 32-31
State championships: 3 (1955, 1956, 1993)
State championship record: 3-2
Felt’s Facts for Lone Peak High School
Head coach: 2017-current — Bart Brockbank (17-6)
All-time record: 189-74 (22 years)
Region championships: 14 (1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 co, 2005, 2009-co, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 co, 2015, 2016, 2018 co)
Playoff appearances: 20
Current playoff appearance streak: 11 (2008-2018)
All-time playoff record: 33-18
State championships: 1 (2011)
State championship record: 1-4