AMERICAN FORK — It was a father-son battle on the sidelines Friday night between longtime American Fork coach Davis Knight and his son, first-year Payson coach Colby Knight. And father proved he still knows best as the Cavemen defeated the Lions 47-12 in the first meeting between the two coaches.
"That's a young man that I respect as a coach in the coaching fraternity, but I love him as a son," Davis said about Colby. "I respect what they've done over at Payson with the overall program, and tonight I thought they executed well."
The Lions certainly executed well on the first play of the contest as Steve Wall returned the kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown. It was the only bright spot for Payson as the Cavemen ran off the next 47 points in the Region 6 opener for both.
"The Star Spangled Banner hadn't even finished when they scored a touchdown," Davis Knight joked about the run back that took 15 seconds off the clock.
The rest of the game belonged to the Cavemen as James Moore passed for three touchdowns, and Mike Muehlmann ran in two.
"We just popped a couple of things to help us with the ball game," the American Fork coach noted. "That's what high school football should be. I didn't hear any swearing on the sidelines, just pads crunching and hard hits."
He also noted that his son wouldn't have been surprised by anything the coach ran, and Colby Knight agreed.
"They didn't do anything differently than I expected. They just outplayed us."
He noted that despite the lopsided score, "It was an honor to play against my dad. I feel like I had more invested in this game in a lot of ways."
Both men agreed the game is just a sport they both enjoy. "It's not life or death," Colby Knight noted.
This game was played with a cloud hanging over it as two American Fork students were killed in a car accident during the past week, and the band performed a special tribute at halftime for those students, who were Cavemen band members.
On the football field, the Cavemen were on a mission after dropping the first score, and they scored twice in the first quarter to put the Lions in a 14-6 hole. Muehlmann ran in a score from two yards out, and Devin Wilson grabbed a 56-yard TD pass from Moore.
Moore and Wilson again connected early in the second on a 20-yard scoring pass, and Davis Knight ran his own little trick play when Moore handed the ball off to wide receiver Chance Varney, who then passed the ball to Matt Lambert for the 33-yard touchdown.
Muehlmann ran another one in and Trevor Cook caught a pass from Moore for the final two scores of the half. American Fork found themselves with a 41-6 lead as the teams went into the locker room.
Payson received even more bad news just before the half as starting quarterback Brett Hiatt went down with a possible concussion. He was taken off in an ambulance before the third quarter.
"He was knocked senseless on one play," said the Payson coach, adding that he believed the ambulance ride was merely precautionary.