In a battle of two of the state’s gridiron giants, Skyridge made the plays down the stretch to claim a nail biting 22-21 win over Region 4 rival Lone Peak on Thursday night.
Trailing 22-21 with under a minute to play, Lone Peak had the ball near midfield just after Knight quarterback Luke Romney found receiver Max Trowbridge for an 8-yard fourth down conversion.
It was then when Skyridge’s Ioholani Raas stepped up with a strip sack of Romney, and when the ball came loose, teammate Teedrick Toilolo alertly pounced on it. Three kneel downs later the Skyridge fans were storming the field to celebrate their second straight victory over Lone Peak.
“I loved every aspect of this game tonight,” Skyridge head coach Jon Lehman told his team after the game.
It took all three phases of the game for Skyridge to prevail. Kicker and punter Casey Keeslar nailed a field goal at the end of the third quarter to give Skyridge a 16-14 lead, then when needed, booted a 57-yard punt to force Lone Peak to drive it at least 50 yards for any chance of a go-ahead field goal.
The heroes on offense included Emmett Call who tossed two touchdown passes and ran for another. Noah Erickson hauled in a 17-yarder in the first quarter to give Skyridge a 7-0 and then with 5:38 left in the fourth quarter, Mitchell Adamson took a pass on the sideline from Call, broke a tackle and sprinted down the sideline to put the Falcons ahead 22-21. Call also scampered in from five yards out to give Skyridge a 13-7 lead.
In regards to the Skyridge’s last scoring drive, Call felt belief was the difference.
“I’ll have faith in you if you have faith in me,” Call said describing the plays that led up to the Falcons taking the lead for good.
Lehman took notice of the play of his quarterback and receivers.
“I’m proud of our offense and the play of our quarterback and receivers,” related Lehman. “They came out aggressive and set the tone for us.”
In regards to the deciding defensive play, no special defense was called. Skyridge rushed its normal compliment of linemen and played zone coverage.
“I was hoping that we could Raas in a one-on-situation (rushing the passer), and he came through,” Lehman said.
“Lone Peak’s a super talented team,” Lehman noted.
Lone Peak had its share of big plays and heroic efforts.
In the final stanza, Nate Ritchie secured his state-leading seventh interception, a 35-yard pick six that gave the Knights a 21-16 lead with 7:34 remaining.
Romney threw two touchdowns himself, one a 77-yard strike to Shawn Wood in the first quarter and then a 23-yard connection with Eli Cloward, which gave Lone Peak a 14-13 lead going into the locker room.
But in the end it was heartbreak for Lone Peak for the second straight week. Ironically, the Knights have fallen in back-to-back weeks to the two teams that played for the 5A state title last season, Corner Canyon and Skyridge.
As for the Falcons, this week they were on the winning side of a game decided by a single point after losing 28-27 to Pleasant Grove.
With the win, Skyridge improves to 6-1 overall and 2-1 in Region 4 action while Lone Peak falls to 5-3 overall and 1-2 in league play.
Skyridge celebrated senior night and will go on the road for its next two games, the biggest one being with undefeated Corner Canyon next week and then at Westlake. Meanwhile Lone Peak will host American Fork before finishing its regular season at Pleasant Grove.