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High school football: Lone Peak stifles Skyridge in 20-0 6A semifinals rout

SHARE High school football: Lone Peak stifles Skyridge in 20-0 6A semifinals rout
Lone Peak’s Crew McChesney runs a reception in for a touchdown.

Lone Peak’s Crew McChesney runs a reception in for a touchdown in a 6A football semifinal game against Skyridge at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Box score

Lone Peak wide receiver Crew McChesney found downfield daylight, shrugged off a Skyridge defender draped all over him as he caught the ball and rumbled 63 yards with one arm raised in triumph as he crossed into the end zone.

In a contest of heavyweight haymakers, McChesney flexed his offensive muscle and broke open the game in the fourth quarter to complement a three-interception effort from the Knights’ defense in sending Lone Peak to a 20-0 6A semifinal shutout victory over rival Skyridge.

“I felt him tugging on me but I’m like ‘I’ve got to get this ball,’” McChesney said. “It’s a jump ball, you know? You’ve got to fight through it.”

Two of the best defenses in the state were every bit as advertised in the first half, snuffing out drives with punts and interceptions just as they neared the end zone.

Skyridge’s Jace Doman nabbed the first pick of the night with the Knights in scoring position, beating an Easton Comer throw to the sideline on the 3-yard line.

Lone Peak’s Christian Arrington responded the following possession with Skyridge driving, snagging McCae Hillstead’s teardrop pass inside the 10-yard line.

Knights linebacker Luke Durfey, who racked up nine tackles and a sack, said the defensive key was to limit Hillstead’s big play rushing ability and show a sense of urgency on every snap.

“Every time we see that ball, we’ve got to get all 11 hats to the ball,” Durfey said. “That’s what we did.”

After a scoreless first quarter, Skyridge flipped the script on a would-be touchdown with an acrobatic play from Smith Snowden, who wrestled the ball away from Lone Peak receiver Luke Hyde in the deep red of the Rice-Eccles Stadium end zone.

As the deadlock dragged deep into the third quarter, Lone Peak strung together a 13-play drive on the back of Jaxson Willits to set up a 44-yard Braden Carr field goal and a 3-0 lead with 2:03 left until the fourth.

McChesney’s long touchdown came shortly afterward and galvanized a final push over a familiar foe for the Knights. With seemingly every path to a 6A state title running through their Region 4 neighbors, Lone Peak coach Bart Brockbank said there are “no secrets” between the teams at this point.

“Obviously that gets the team going,” Brockbank said. “It got the defense more juiced. It just snowballs into better things.”

Carr knocked in a second chip shot 24-yard field goal with 7:58 left to capitalize on Hillstead’s second interception of the night.

The Knights took the air out of the ball and went to the ground with a combo of Durfey and Willits to run the clock before springing one final surprise on Skyridge with a 30-yard wide open scoring loft from Comer to Hyde for a commanding 20-0 lead with 2:28 left in the game.

“Please don’t overthrow it, please don’t overthrow it,” Comer said, describing his thoughts as he released that pass. “Then, I almost underthrew it but he got it, so that’s all that matters.”

Hillstead’s third and final interception via Mason Patane shut the door and iced the victory. 

After getting their own regular season loss revenge over Skyridge, the Knights are preparing for an intense Corner Canyon in the championship game after snapping the Chargers’ chance at Utah high school football winning streak history a few weeks ago. 

“They’re going to be angry and they’re going to be ready,” Brockbank said. “They’re going to be motivated because we did end the streak. We’re going to have to match that and go on top.”