SALT LAKE CITY — Too many missed opportunities along with an inability to handle Lone Peak's fearsome defensive front did Pleasant Grove in during a 29-0 loss to the Knights during Thursday's 6A semifinal round at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Accounting for 240 yards of total offense compared with Lone Peak's 149 gave way sharply to 13 points yielded off of turnovers and four interceptions, one of which was returned for a Lone Peak score late in the fourth quarter.
"Lone Peak had a lot to do with our mistakes. You can talk about how we beat ourselves on occasion, and we did make some mistakes, but Lone Peak was the cause of most of it," said Pleasant Grove coach Mark Wootton. "They're so fast and they cause a lot of havoc and we didn't have an answer for them today."
The player incurring the brunt of Lone Peak's pressure throughout was Pleasant Grove quarterback Jake Jensen, who was found laying on the turf after just about every pass play, taking multiple hits throughout. Overall the Knights accounted for five sacks, although Jensen was hurried to throw out-of-rhythm on just about every occasion, causing errant throws and interceptions.
Not helping the Vikings' cause was the loss of top offensive lineman Keegan Wilkinson the week before Friday's game, although it's doubtful much could have stood in the way of Lone Peak's pressure applied.
"We had some difficulties, but like I said, Lone Peak was the cause of most of them. That's a very good football team," Wootton said.
Pleasant Grove controlled the course of play throughout much of the first half, but a blocked punt at the start of the first quarter set Lone Peak up with first-and-goal from the 1-yard line and an eventual touchdown. The second half saw the Vikings again control a lot of the play but had long drives of 12 and 20 plays get snuffed out without any points put on the board.
"You can't miss out on the opportunities we had today. That killed us because Lone Peak is way too good of a team not to take advantage of the opportunities you have," Wootton said.1 comment on this story
As for his own team, Wootton spoke of what the team has overcome this season to make it clear to the final four and a game played at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
"We had some injuries to deal with and we had to battle with one of the toughest schedules out there, but the kids overcame and I'm proud of all of them," Wootton said. "We're building something here and not just for one year, but for a lot of years we hope. I think what we did this year helps build a good foundation we can continue to build on."