When the Lone Peak offense struggled in the first half, the Knights defense and special teams had their back.
A punt return for a touchdown by Max Trowbridge and a pick six by Jared Fotu highlighted the first half for Lone Peak and the offense got untracked in the second, leading to a 38-6 victory against Westlake on Friday in Highland.
“That seems to be the story sometimes in our games,” Lone Peak coach Bart Brockbank said. “We have our defense lead us out and special teams and then the offense gets going. I don’t know what it is.”
Some credit goes to the Westlake defense, which played well in the first half and earned three big stops to keep Lone Peak stymied. Ben Resendiz had an interception, the Thunder defense stopped the Knights on fourth-and-inches and a sack by Ian Quiring kept the home team’s offense in check in the first half.
But Lone Peak found other ways to score. Early in the second quarter, Trowbridge followed a convoy down the sidelines for a 60-yard punt return and a 10-0 Knights lead. On Westlake’s next possession, linebacker Jared Fotu picked off a Brayden Ross pass and sped 27 yards for a score, giving Lone Peak a 17-0 halftime lead.
Knights junior quarterback Luke Romney – subbing for starter J.D. Neeleman, who suffered a concussion last week against Bishop Gorman – got hot in the third quarter. He completed nine passes in a row for a pair of touchdowns as Lone Peak started to build its lead. On the second drive of the half, Romney found Trowbridge on a short pass that turned into a 19-yard touchdown and a 24-0 Knights lead.
Later, Romney connected with Trajan Hansen, who broke several tackles on his way to a 40-yard touchdown and 31-0 advantage.
“In the first half Luke was just trying to overplay,” Brockbank said. “Ultimately the game plan was to stay short, make quick throws and make easy reads. In the second half when we drove down and scored we were hitting our short stuff. We didn’t throw one long ball. In first half Luke kind of got greedy. The receivers were changing calls and we were going deep. I think sometimes young quarterbacks get impatient, but I’m proud of him for coming back in the second half and gutting it out.”
Romney, who was just 7 of 17 in the first half, was 9 of 10 and threw for 119 of his 172 yards in the second half.
Trowbridge continued his big night with a 40-yard punt return to set up a 24-yard scoring run by Chase Comer, pushing the Lone Peak lead to 38-0 with 11:50 to play in the game.
The Knights defense held Westlake to 135 yards of offense – just four yards rushing on 26 attempts -- and had 11 tackles for loss.
Lone Peak (5-1 overall, 1-0 Region 4) has a big game on the schedule next week at 6A No. 1 Corner Canyon.
“I think they’re the top team in the state,” Brockbank said. “I don’t know, I don’t follow the rankings much and stay away from all that. We’re just happy for the challenge every week. We love it.”
Westlake (1-5, 0-1) will host American Fork next Friday.