No. 20 Lone Peak (3-9) at No. 5 Kearns (10-1)
- 6A state tournament quarterfinal
- Friday, 5 p.m.
- Parry’s Power Guide: Lone Peak by 31
- All-time series: Lone Peak leads 4-0
- Coach vs. coach: Lone Peak’s Bart Brockbank leads Kearns’ Matt Rickards 2-0
- Last meeting: Lone Peak 42, Kearns 0 (2018)
KEARNS — Home-field advantage in the high school ranks isn’t talked about much although Kearns football coach Matt Rickards believes his team has enjoyed one throughout the season. With Kearns taking on Lone Peak this Friday in the 6A quarterfinal round, Rickards and his team will need all the help they can get.
The Knights entered the playoffs as the No. 20 seed due to being forced to vacate four wins due to a clerical error on a transfer request, although most consider them the a clear top 4 seed. Take last week’s game versus No. 4 Skyridge, where the Knights dominated play to the tune of a 30-6 win where the defense shined.
“We kind of hit a lull in the middle of the season after starting strong, but I definitely feel the players have come together late, much like we saw last year,” said Lone Peak coach Bart Brockbank.
Coming together last year paid off big, with the Knights winning the 6A championship, an accomplishment they look to be capable of repeating this year.
“They won it last year, obviously, they have a great defense and they’re playing hot right now,” observed Rickards. “You look at their film, and yeah, they’re tough. They’re going to be a big challenge.”
Of course Kearns earned its spot as the No. 5 seed through great play highlighted by prolific offense which scored over 30 points in eight of its 11 games played this season.
“They have a lot of weapons on offense,” Brockbank observed. “It’s a team that can put up a lot of points, but fortunately we think we have a good defense that can perhaps limit that, but yeah, it will be a challenge.”
Unlike other playoff matchups, Lone Peak and Kearns are both familiar with one another, having matched up twice in the preseason over the last two years. Lone Peak won both of those game by scores of 42-24 in 2017 and 42-0 in 2018, although every year is different.
“We know they’re a good team and that Coach Rickards has done a great job,” Brockbank said. “They’re 10-1 for a reason and it’s a team we’ll need to prepare hard for to come out on top.”
As noted, Kearns believes playing at home will provide an advantage.
“The way our crowd has been this season has been great,” Rickards said. “We’ve seen our crowd get loud and help upset offensive game plans a bit. Hopefully they’ll be as loud as ever when we take on Lone Peak, but yeah, we’re definitely happy to be playing this game at home.”
Lone Peak statistical breakdown
- Scoring offense: 28.3 ppg (13th in 6A)
- Scoring defense: 16.6 ppg (3rd in 6A)
- Passing leader: Luke Romney (100-177, 1,257, 56.%%, 1,257 yards, 10 TDs), JC Neeleman (98-179, 54.7%, 1,368 yards, 10 TDs)
- Rushing leaders: Daniel Yamada (131 carries, 647 yards, 3 TDs), Chase Comer (93 carries, 511 yards, 5 TDs)
- Receiving leaders: Trajan Hansen (49 rec., 776 yards, 4 TDs), Shawn Wood (54 rec., 769 yards, 8 TDs)
- Tackles leaders: Jared Fotu (86 tackles), Keegan Nitta (74 tackles)
- Sack leaders: John Henry Daley (11 sacks), Jared Fotu (9 sacks)
- Interception leaders: Nate Ritchie (7 INTs)
Kearns statistical breakdown
- Scoring offense: 39.6 ppg (3rd in 6A)
- Scoring defense: 17.9 ppg (6th in 6A)
- Passing leader: Dakota Lynde (100-171, 58.5%, 1,956 yards, 23 TDs)
- Rushing leaders: Naki Leha (166 carries, 1,386 yards, 20 TDs), Isaiah Afatasi (53 carries, 358 yards, 4 TDs)
- Receiving leaders: Jack Kelly (20 rec., 461 yards, 6 TDs), Jeff Bassa (18 rec., 421 yards, 5 TDs)
- Tackles leaders: Isaiah Afatasi (101 tackles), Austin Perry (70 tackles)
- Sack leaders: Ami Leha (7 sacks), Tucson Vaenuku (4.5 sacks)
- Interception leaders: Jeff Bassa (4 INTs), Isaiah Afatasi (3 INTs)
Felts Facts for Lone Peak High School
- All-time record: 194-83 (23 years)
- Region championships: 14 (1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 co, 2005, 2009-co, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 co, 2015, 2016, 2018)
- Playoff appearances: 21
- All-time playoff record: 37-18
- State championships: 2 (2011, 2018)
- State championship record: 2-4
Felt’s Facts for Kearns High School
All-time record: 203-333-1 (54 years)
Region championships: 7 (1969, 1973 co, 1989 co, 1993, 2017, 2018, 2019)
Playoff appearances: 25
All-time playoff record: 13-22
State championships: 2 (1972, 1989)
State championship record: 2-0