Durfey comes up big as Lone Peak football holds off American Fork
Short yardage and goal line situations are usually “Durfey Time” for Lone Peak.
Luke Durfey, the Knights’ 6-foot, 230-pound bruiser, was used as a decoy on a big third-and-4 while protecting a six-point lead with just under three minutes to play against rival American Fork. A pass attempt for the first down fell incomplete.
Lucky for Lone Peak, Durfey also plays defense.
Durfey sacked Caveman quarterback Maddux Madsen twice in the final two minutes, including a game-clincher on fourth down with American Fork driving for a possible tying score. The senior also scored two touchdowns as Lone Peak held on for a 27-21 victory on Friday in front of a capacity crowd at Highland.
“You know, we’ve just got to fly to the ball,” Durfey said. “On the last drive, we decided to bring the pressure.”
Durfey and his teammates did just that to lock up the game. Madsen converted two third downs to move his team to the Lone Peak 34 with 1:32 to play. On fourth-and-4, Durfey and Saveaalii Fitisemanu teamed up to swarm Madsen before he could get a pass away or try to escape the rush.
“We brought six guys,” Durfey said. “We got a good d-line stunt and I just came through the hole and I was wide open.”
American Fork took a quick 7-0 lead when Madsen connected with Trey Roberts on the second play of the game for an 80-yard touchdown pass just 17 seconds in.
Things got a lot harder for the AF offense after that.
“We talk a lot about our defense and how we bend but don’t break,” Durfey said. “We just had to be resilient and keep going because American Fork is a good team.”
Lone Peak tied the game on its next series with a 7-yard touchdown pass from Easton Comer to Luke Hyde. In the second quarter, the Knights churned out a 10-play drive that culminated in a 4-yard Durfey scoring run. The point after was blocked and the home team took a 13-7 lead at the half.
Late in the third quarter, Comer tossed a 41-yard bomb to Crew McChesney down the sideline for a touchdown and a 19-7 lead, though the two-point conversion attempt failed. That drive chewed up four minutes on nine plays as the Knights worked to keep the ball out of Madsen’s dangerous hands.
American Fork finally got back in the end zone with 9:20 to play on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Madsen to Ben Rutter to cut the deficit to 19-14.
On the ensuing kickoff, Cole Christensen followed excellent blocking for a 67-yard return deep into AF territory. Later in the drive, Durfey pounded out eight yards to the 4-yard line and on the next play buried a tackler on his way into the end zone. This time Comer hooked up with McChesney for the two-point conversion and a 27-14 lead with 6:46 remaining.
Madsen hit Fisher Ingersoll three times on the ensuing drive to move deep into Lone Peak territory and fired a 4-yard pass to Jace Hull to trim the Knights lead to six with 4:38 left. American Fork got the stop they needed to get the ball back but couldn’t get past Durfey and the Lone Peak defense in the final moments.
The Knights ruled time of possession and converted a large number of third and fourth downs to keep the potent Caveman offense off the field.
“We have a big play offense but we try to grind the clock some,” Lone Peak coach Bart Brockbank said. “Against Maddux we’re trying to keep the ball out of his hands. So we try to get long and sustained drives. It comes down to execution and our boys executed really well tonight.”
As for Durfey, Brockbank knows he’s got a special player.
“Let’s just say he’s the heart and soul of the team,” the coach said. “I mean, he does it all. He’s a Swiss Army knife and we’ve asked him to a do a lot. If you send him (at the quarterback) four times, he’ll get there twice. We trust our playmakers to make plays and they did that tonight.”
Lone Peak (2-0 Region 4, 4-1 overall), No. 6 in the Class 6A RPI to start the week, is running the gauntlet of Region 4 with No. 2 Skyridge next week, followed by top-ranked Corner Canyon on Oct. 7.
American Fork (0-2, 4-2), No. 4 in RPI, will host Pleasant Grove next Friday.