Skyridge took down Lone Peak 31-30 Friday evening in a thrilling Region 4 showdown, using three fourth-quarter touchdowns to come from behind and defeat the reigning 6A state champions.
The Falcons faced a 20-point deficit with under 11 minutes to play in the final quarter. A strong defensive effort and great special teams play helped Skyridge turn things around and finish on top.
“We were able to capitalize on a couple mistakes and make a couple plays on our end to finish the game,” Skyridge head coach Jon Lehman said.
Falcon senior Smith Snowden helped spark his team’s comeback victory playing defense, offense, and special teams. His biggest play came on a 96-yard kick return that pulled the Falcons back within two scores in the fourth quarter.
“I just saw light,” Snowden said of his kick return. “I knew I was going to go to the house.”
“He did everything,” Lehman said about Snowden. “He was in all three phases. He made a nice catch down the sideline; gave us a little spark for our offense; obviously the special teams play where he took it back to the house; and then everything that he does for us defensively. He’s a really tough-minded kid. Smith plays his best in the biggest moments when things are toughest, and he always has, and he always will.”
Following Snowden’s kick return, he and the defense then went to work, giving the Falcon offense three straight possessions that started on the Lone Peak side of the field to end the game.
Skyridge senior running back Tate Walker finished two of those possessions with touchdowns on the ground. His final score gave the Falcons the 31-30 lead and their first lead of the night at the 4:38 mark.
After struggling to put points on the board through the first two quarters, the Skyridge offense looked better in the second half.
Lone Peak led 16-3 at the break after senior kicker Ian Sanches scored his second 50-plus yard field goal as the first half came to a close.
“Halftime was just really big for us,” Snowden said. “That’s what we needed. We needed that little time to take off and think about what we needed to fix.”
The Falcons cut the lead to six early in the third quarter on a Jace Doman 18-yard touchdown catch, but from there remained silent until their fourth-quarter explosion.
Both teams suffered their first region losses of the season a week ago, when the Falcons lost to Corner Canyon and the Knights were defeated in overtime by American Fork.
Skyridge responded in a big way Friday night.
Lone Peak might get another shot at the Falcons in the 6A playoffs. The two Region 4 schools met twice last season, splitting the pair of contests. The Knights’ lone in-state defeat came against the Falcons before the Highland school exacted revenge in the state semifinals en route to the 6A title.
Skyridge got a bit of its own revenge in the schools’ latest meeting.
The Falcons will play on the road again next week when they face Pleasant Grove. Lone Peak will play its final home game of the season the same day against Corner Canyon in a rematch of last year’s 6A state championship. Both games are scheduled for Thursday at 7 pm.