Lone Peak began a difficult three-game stretch Friday night against American Fork, and the Knights started it off by keeping their Region 4 record unblemished with a 27-21 victory over the Cavemen.
American Fork tested Lone Peak, as the Cavemen sought to avenge a loss to the Knights a season ago. On that night, Lone Peak’s offense scored 20 straight points to turn the game around and ultimately defeat American Fork by three, but Friday, it was Lone Peak’s stout defense that preserved the win.
With 2:40 left in the game, the Knights punted the ball, clinging to a six-point lead. Lone Peak head coach Bart Brockbank said his team was trying to keep the ball out of Caveman quarterback Maddux Madsen’s hands, but despite their best efforts, Brockbank and the Knights were forced to give Madsen and American Fork one last possession.
“We just trust our playmakers to make plays and they did tonight.” — Lone Peak coach Bart Brockbank
Lone Peak was up for the challenge, however. After watching the Cavemen move the ball past midfield, the Knights held strong, forcing a fourth-and-4 from the Lone Peak 40-yard line.
With the game on the line, Lone Peak quickly collapsed Madsen’s pocket, forcing its second sack of the drive and sealing the victory.
“We just trust our playmakers to make plays and they did tonight,” Brockbank said.
The biggest Knight playmaker was senior linebacker and running back Luke Durfey. On offense, Durfey powered his way into the end zone twice for Lone Peak. The Cavemen needed multiple tacklers before they could bring the 6-foot, 230-pound athlete down.
“If I can get one-on-one with a defender, it’s pretty easy to put your head down and get a couple yards, so we just kept pushing it,” Durfey said. “You keep grinding and you get that extra power and you just have to have that extra grit to keep going no matter what.”
On defense, Durfey had that same mindset. He muscled his way into the backfield throughout the night, securing a solo sack on American Fork’s final drive.
“Luke is the heart and soul of the team,” Brockbank said. “He does it all. He’s our Swiss Army knife this year. We ask him to do a lot. On offense he loves to run the ball so much, he wants to get hit and keep going — that’s what his goal is. We trust him 100 percent. The kid does it all for us.”
Brockbank will need Durfey and his team to power through the next two weeks, as Lone Peak faces Skyridge and then Corner Canyon.
“We don’t have a lot of time to celebrate,” the Knights’ coach said. “I told the kids to celebrate tonight, but it’s on to the next tomorrow. We are going through the gauntlet.”
American Fork will also continue region play next week, with the the Cavemen returning home to face Pleasant Grove.