The Skyridge football team finally met its match Friday night on the road in a 37-20 loss to Lone Peak.
The Knights forced the visitors into an uncomfortable position, one the Falcons had yet to experience this season. Skyridge had not faced a deficit, steamrolling its way through its first seven opponents.
This quickly changed in the first quarter when Knight senior Gage Easton picked off Falcon quarterback McCae Hillstead on the Skyridge 45-yard line.
The Knights made the Falcons pay, substituting junior linebacker Luke Durfey into the game as a running back for one play. Durfey broke multiple tackles en route to a 28-yard touchdown, giving the Knights a 10-7 lead.
“I haven’t played running back in a while,” Durfey said. “I went in there and found a great hole by the lineman and scored that touchdown.”
Once Lone Peak gained the lead, it never trailed again.
The Knight defense held strong against a Falcon team that was averaging over 40 points per game. The Falcons 20-point outing was the fewest points the team has scored all year long.
Lone Peak senior defensive end John Henry Daley was pivotal to the Knights defensive attack, relentlessly forcing his way into the Skyridge backfield all night.
“We knew that they were going to come at us full throttle,” Daley said. “We knew we had to get pressure on them early, get some QB hits, have the QB looking out for us and not be focused on the field. So that was our game plan tonight.”
The Knights game plan worked to near perfection, forcing the Falcons into four turnovers. Skyridge’s final turnover, an interception, sealed its fate.
Durfey snagged backup quarterback Kiai Keone’s pass at the Knights 26-yard line. The speedy linebacker then raced down the Lone Peak sideline for a 70-yard return before being upended four yards short of the goal line.
“I saw the quarterback looking that way,” Durfey said. “So I started to cheat over, saw the ball coming and just went and got it.”
The Knights scored on the next play when junior running back Jaxson Willits waltzed into the end zone for his second touchdown of the night and a 30-14 Lone Peak lead. Only 5:38 was left on the clock, putting the Falcons’ undefeated season in grave jeopardy.
Both teams would score a touchdown before the clock ran out, giving the Knights an impressive 37-20 victory over the Falcons.
After last week’s loss to Corner Canyon, Lone Peak recognized the magnitude of the win.
“I think it was really important for us come back and show that we can play with the big boys,” Durfey said.
The Knights will be facing another one of the “big boys” this Thursday on the road against American Fork. After containing the Falcons’ offense, Lone Peak will be challenged again by the high-scoring Cavemen.
Skyridge will have another tough test this Thursday when it returns home to play Corner Canyon. The Chargers will enter the game riding a 34-game winning streak. The last team to beat Corner Canyon was Skyridge in 2017. The Falcons hope to rekindle some of that magic on Thursday night.
Both games are set to begin at 7 p.m.