The Lone Peak and American Fork boys soccer teams have had some great performances in years past.
This year, however, has been a roller-coaster ride for the two rivals as both have been through plenty of ups and downs.
The result is that the Cavemen and the Knights met Wednesday night in a Region 8 matchup in Highland without things like league titles or high seeds on the line.
This was about pride, passion and preparing for the upcoming 6A playoffs — and the result was a thriller.
American Fork rallied from a two-goal deficit with a pair of quick goals, forcing overtime. At press time, the contest was tied at 2-2 in the final moments of the second overtime.
The home team seized the momentum early when a free kick in the fifth minute from Knight senior Reed Dayton from 40 yards out somehow managed to slip passed everyone in the box and bounce into the net.
Lone Peak doubled that lead 13 minutes later when senior Mason Coleman put heavy pressure on the American Fork backline, stole the ball and won the one-on-one opportunity to make the score 2-0.
The game changed a couple of minutes later when a Knight and a Cavemen got tangled up, buffeting each other as they crashed to the group. Each player was given a red card, meaning both teams were down to 10 players.
Lone Peak maintained its advantage until American Fork finally broke through in the 67th minute.
That was when Cavemen midfielder Bailey Thornley worked his way across the middle of the field and found an opening, blasting a perfect shot from 25 yards out.
It would only take American Fork a minute to complete the comeback as a great series of passes resulted in forward Owen Knecht getting free deep in Knight territory and slotting the ball in.
Both teams had chances during the rest of regulation and in the overtime periods but — even though Lone Peak had another player sent off with a second yellow card — neither team could get the game-winner.
Thanks to the RPI system used by the Utah High School Activities Association, every team will get a chance to compete in the 6A state tournament.
The Knights and the Cavemen won’t be considered favorites going into the playoffs but have to hope that their tough league schedule will have prepared them well.
Soccer is a game where a little momentum can go a long ways and every year lower seeds find ways to pull off big upsets.
Lone Peak and American Fork have notched some nice wins this year and have to believe they are capable of doing so on the big stage.
Both teams will close out the regular season with another chance to get a big win before the tournament begins.
Lone Peak faces Skyridge on Friday while American Fork hosts Pleasant Grove the same day.
Both games are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.