BOUNTIFUL — Lone Peak quarterback Tannon Pedersen broke down the Knights' surprising 21-0 victory over Bountiful by simply saying, "There's a different feeling this year."
A year after Lone Peak flamed out with a 3-9 record, the Knights started this season with a new coach, Tony McGeary, and a fresh enthusiasm that was evident in the way they flew around the field Friday night.
Bountiful is one of the most difficult places for opposing teams to escape with a victory, and the Knights shutout was a most impressive way to hand McGeary his first career victory as head coach.
A teary-eyed McGeary summed up his team's performance by saying, "We bucked up. It's been an emotional roller coaster."
Bountiful looked rusty in the first game of the year, and Lone Peak capitalized with an aggressive defense led by middle linebacker Zane Mendenhall. The Knights intercepted Bountiful three times, forced one fumble, and blocked a 24-yard field goal.
It was the blocked field goal that swung the momentum in favor of Lone Peak early in the second quarter. The Knights took possession and drove the length of the field, highlighted by a 43-yard run by Kade Andrus, who later capped the drive with a 2-yard touchdown plunge for a 7-0 lead.
Lone Peak made some halftime adjustments to handle the Braves blitzing up the middle, and capitalized on the added passing time in the second half. Pedersen found 6-foot-4 wide receiver Chandler Allphin in a mismatch on the outside and exploited the receiver's big-play ability.
The two hooked up for two touchdowns — the first a 17-yard fade pass, and the second a scintillating 64-yard streak in which he drug a Bountiful defender the final 5 yards to the end zone.
"We all thought we could do this," Pedersen said. "We came out and executed. The o-line blocked great and I was getting more depth on my drops."