Lone Peak put the finishing touches on a perfect regular season Friday and did so in style by trouncing rival Skyridge 4-0.

The Knights always seemed in control of the match after an early tactical adjustment, but the field tilted even more in the 48th minute when a Skyridge player was sent off with a second yellow card.

Ten minutes later, Lone Peak finally broke the scoreless draw and proceeded to tack on three more goals before the final whistle to finish the regular season with a 15-0 record.

“Obviously when they go down a man it’s far easier to just move the ball around,” said Lone Peak coach Danny Mason.

There was a slight nervousness heading into the match for Lone Peak, even though it had already locked up the No. 1 RPI seed and the Region 4 title.

Coach Mason elected to start a bunch of seniors who are usually role players off the bench, and he ended up playing most of them for the entire first half.

He did the same thing a year ago and his team ultimately lost 3-2.

“The team felt that pressure to make sure they got the win. Obviously it didn’t mean anything in terms of statistics, we were No. 1 already. It was all for the older boys,” said Mason.

The team felt a bit of pressure, too, knowing a win clinched a perfect regular season record, no small feat for a program with one semifinal appearance and many seasons of mediocrity since last winning a state title back in 2005.

“It was important ‘cause Lone Peak doesn’t have a history of being good at soccer with the boys, so we wanted to go perfect,” said Mason.

Early on, it was Skyridge that dictated tempo as it methodically built out of the back and moved the ball into the attacking half.

The ease that the Falcons moved the ball changed roughly 15 minutes into the match as Mason made a notable tactical adjustment.

“We saw they were dropping their 6 and playing through him and the 8s were fanning out to make our fullbacks drop, so we put our 10 on their 6 and it changed the game. That’s where all the momentum came,” said Mason.

Lone Peak’s high pressure forced Skyridge into several bad and dangerous giveaways in its own third, but the Knights weren’t clinical enough with those half a dozen chances as the game stayed scoreless until halftime.

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A 48th minute red card for Skyridge gave Lone Peak even more space to move the ball, and it finally paid dividends in the 58th minute as Jackson Gunther banged a goal in off the crossbar from Evan Beus.

Thom Kramer doubled the advantage in the 68th minute on a penalty kick, with Adrian Xanthos scoring again in the 75th minute and then Beus wrapping up the scoring in the final minute.

Lone Peak will wait to learn its playoff fate next Wednesday when the UHSAA announces the final RPI rankings and the 6A state tournament bracket.

The Knights’ first game won’t be until May 16 though, and until then Mason plans on practicing the players extra hard on their combination passes in tight spaces in anticipation of opponents packing it in defensively in the playoffs.

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