HIGHLAND — In the grind-it-out atmosphere that was the Region 4 matchup between American Fork and Lone Peak, it was clear that big plays would be the difference.
And in the end, it was the Knights that made those big plays.
A pair of Tannon Pedersen long passes to Jacob Hannemann was really all Lone Peak (5-2) needed, as they moved to 3-1 in region play by overcoming the Cavemen, 24-6. At the same time, American Fork (3-4) suffered their third loss in as many region games, seriously crippling them in the tough league.
Hannemann caught a 65-yard touchdown pass on Lone Peak's first possession to get on the scoreboard. Pedersen then ran it in from 8 yards out to put the Knights in charge.
"With (Hannemann), we knew that we had a mismatch that we could take advantage of, and it worked," Lone Peak head coach Tony McGeary said.
In the second quarter, AF fullback Matt Healey bowled in from two yards out to almost cut the Knights' lead in half.
But that was all the points the Cavemen would get, as Lone Peak's defense tightened up the rest of the night.
"Congratulations to the defense," McGeary said. "They have practiced hard, and I was glad to see that effort. They did a great job. We knew they run the ball very well, and we thought we could get some pressure on the quarterback."
In fact, after a 26-yard field goal by Lone Peak's Ryne MacPherson, both defenses became stingy.
Defensively, American Fork was crowding the line, at times packing nine into the box. That was something McGeary was noticing and trying to exploit.
"We moved the ball pretty well offensively in the first half," he said. "But in the second half, we had a tougher time doing that."
But the Knights broke through again to add to their lead. And it was Hannemann once again hauling in a long pass and run for the end zone. This time, Pedersen found the senior for a 55-yard reception score that put things out of reach for American Fork.
"It was tough in the second half to move it as well as we were, but (Hannemann) got another long pass for the touchdown," McGeary said.
Hannemann ended the game with 139 yards on just three receptions and the two touchdowns. Pedersen was 8-of-14 for 193 yards and the two scoring strikes. Pedersen added the rushing touchdown.
Jared Fenton collected 70 yards on 10 carries for Lone Peak.