HIGHLAND — Jordan can mount a scoring onslaught like few others, but rarely like the one mounted against Lone Peak during Friday's quarterfinal matchup. Fortunately for the Knights, they endured the initial blow, then put forth one of their own, ultimately coming out on top 59-37 and advancing to the semifinal round of the 5A state playoffs.
The second play from scrimmage? Almost exactly the same, only this time Jackson battled downfield after the catch before breaking free for his second 80-yard TD.
A few minutes later Jackson caught a 10-yard touchdown pass to put Jordan up 21-7 with 5:25 left in the first quarter.
The Lone Peak sidelines could have experienced a bunch of emotions — almost all of them negative — as a result, but according to players and coaches, the main emotion was relatively positive.
"We stayed calm," said Lone Peak quarterback Dakota Hansen. "It was kind of weird, and you'd think guys would be screaming at each other — all worked up, but that wasn't the case at all. We all knew it was Jordan, that it's what they're capable of, but that we just needed to stick with the plan — both on offense and defense."
Sticking with the plan paid huge dividends, as Lone Peak responded with 38 straight points to build a commanding 45-21 lead midway through the third quarter.
The key to the Knights' surge was Hansen, who beat the Beetdiggers with both his arm and his legs to lead his team back. The senior quarterback logged touchdown runs of 15 and 25 yards and three touchdown passes, two to Beau Peterson, from 23 and 10 yards out, respectively, and another 3-yard touchdown toss to Jackson McChesney.
"He was heads up and did the smart things all game long. He was amazing," said Lone Peak coach Mike Mower. "I don't know how he could have had a better game than he had. I hate pointing out specific kids, but Dakota was just that good tonight."
Also adding significantly to the Lone Peak surge was safety Seth Corry, who recorded two key interceptions playing in his first game this season. Corry, who is committed to play baseball for BYU, chose to forgo his final year of football after suffering an ACL injury during last year's semifinal win over Roy.
Midway through the season, however, Corry chose to work his way back.
"I didn't quite feel ready to come back until now and my knee finally felt ready," Corry said. "I love (my teammates) and the reason I came back was for them — to help them in any way that I could. This feels amazing and I'm just happy to do it for my teammates because I really do love all of them."
Jordan did manage 16 straight points after Lone Peak's big 38-0 run, but a 67-yard touchdown pass from Hansen to McChesney, followed by a 25-yard touchdown run by McChesney effectively ended the game and put the Knights into the semifinal round at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
"We couldn't be more excited to get back to Rice-Eccles," Hansen said. "That was our goal all along — to get back there and now we're there. We have a lot of work to do yet, but right now it feels amazing."
Lone Peak will face Region 4 rival American Fork in the semifinal round next Friday at Rice-Eccles Stadium.