With a 10-point lead with just under two-and-a-half minutes left in the game and a suffocating defense, the Lone Peak football team had to be confident that it was on the verge of ending Corner Canyon’s unbeaten streak.
But, as they say, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.
The Chargers staged an incredible comeback, scoring two touchdowns — including the game-winner with just two seconds left — to stun the Knights, 21-17.
Lone Peak needed a big fourth-down play to extend the lead to two scores, getting a touchdown pass from junior quarterback Luke Romney to wide receiver Shawn Wood from three yards out to seemingly put the game out of reach.
But Corner Canyon wasn’t ready to quit.
The Chargers put together their first real offensive drive of the game in response, marching down the field and scoring on a 16-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Cole Hagen to junior wide receiver Talmage Handley with under a minute to play.
The hopes of Lone Peak fans stayed strong when the Knights recovered the ensuing onside kick and needed just one first down to secure the victory.
But three straight running plays only gained a few yards and since Corner Canyon had all three timeouts, they didn’t take much time off the clock either.
Lone Peak punted the ball into the end zone, giving the Chargers the ball with 32.9 seconds needing to go 80 yards.
With as well as the Knights had been playing on defense, that appeared to be too much to ask — but Corner Canyon had a couple more miracles left.
The first was a hitch-and-go pattern by Handley that got the Lone Peak defender out of position and resulted in a huge pass play, giving the Chargers the ball at the Knight 6-yard line with 11 seconds on the clock.
After failing to get in the end zone on the first play, the home team gambled and chose to take one more shot with just over six seconds left and no timeouts.
But the roll of the dice was rewarded in favor of the Chargers as Cole Hagen stood tall in the face of the Lone Peak rush and threw a strike to his younger brother, sophomore Cody Hagen.
Hagen made the catch and raced for the pylon, just beating the Knight defender for the game-winning touchdown for Corner Canyon and sparking a wild celebration for the Chargers.
On the other sideline, it was stunned disappointment and disbelief.
Before the final sequence, Lone Peak had only given up a 2-yard scoring drive, one that came after a Knight fumble inside its own 5-yard line in the first quarter.
The visitors had scored a field goal to end the first half, then marched down the field to take the lead early in the fourth quarter when Romney had lofted a great pass on a third-and-7 to where senior receiver Trajan Hansen had hauled it in for the 27-yard touchdown.
The Lone Peak defense had even intercepted a Cole Hagen pass, using it to run most of the time off the clock as the Knights methodically marched down the field to set up the fourth-down touchdown.
But it proved to be not quite enough to shut the door and Corner Canyon had just enough time to put together the brilliant rally.
Lone Peak (5-2, 1-1) will look to get over the devastating loss quickly as it faces another tough game at Skyridge on Thursday, while Corner Canyon (7-0, 2-0) plays at Westlake on Friday.
Both games are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.