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High school football: Lone Peak Knights 2019 preview

Note: Lone Peak finished with a 10-3 overall record in 2018 and was tied for first in Region 4 with a 3-1 record. It beat American Fork 34-29 in the 6A championship.

Lone Peak 2018 Offensive and Defensive Stats

HIGHLAND — Lone Peak returns as 6A state champions after turning things around in dramatic fashion after a slow start to the 2018 season. Doing as much puts a target on its back, although it certainly brings several positives as the Knights enter 2019 as one of the strong favorites to win it all.

“It drives a lot of excitement in the community, and I think that may be reflected in the amount of kids we have playing at the lower levels. We’ve been able to increase our numbers there,” Brockbank said. “But you also have to worry about complacency, although I’m not seeing that with this group. At least not yet.”

Brockbank's group includes a lot of seniors and returning starters which has the Knights rightly pegged as one of the top teams in the state and a very good bet to repeat as champions.

“We have a lot of returning starters, especially on defense, so we feel really good about that,” Brockbank said. “I think we started slow last year because we were young, but we’re not young this year, so you’d assume we won’t have that problem again.”

A perennial problem for the Knights is playing within Region 4, which is well-argued to be the toughest in the entire state most years, with this year's version appearing to follow in line.

“I see our region as being as tough as it always is, even with losing Bingham,” Brockbank said. “Corner Canyon is a team with a great coach and a lot of returning talent. I don’t know as much about Skyridge, but I’m certain both those teams will do just fine and really think our region will be just as brutal as it was last year.”

Lone Peak Knights at a glance

Coach: Bart Brockbank is entering his third season as coach of Lone Peak after serving as an assistant for the Knights. Brockbank is a graduate of Lehi and he led the Pioneers to a state championship in 2000.

Brockbank's thoughts in the new UHSAA RPI:

“I don’t know how the playoff system is going to work this year, but I’ve always thought it was ridiculous that a good team like Westlake always seems to get the short end of the stick just because of the region they play in. This system will help teams like Westlake, which is a good thing.”

Lone Peak offensive snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Bart Brockbank

2018 offensive production: 29.6 ppg (7th in 6A)

— Six returning starters

— Spread

Key offensive returning starters

Carson Smith (OL): Smith leads what Brockbank believes will be a strong offensive line position.

Trajan Hansen (WR): Hansen had 32 receptions last season for 426 yards and five touchdowns.

Returning offensive starters

Carson Smith (OL)

Trajan Hansen (WR)

Shawn Wood (WR)

Tyler Ware (OL)

Trevor Paye (OL)

Daniel Yamada (RB)

Brockbank on his quarterbacks:

“We have a couple of guys going for it. We have JD Neeleman who is a senior and was the guy who came out of our camp as the guy to beat out. Then there’s Luke Romney and Luke White who are both lefties and both are also doing real well. So we’ll see how that turns out.”

Brockbank on the strength of the offense:

“The strength of our offense is going to be our wideouts and our offensive line, at least to start the season.”

Brockbank on Daniel Yamada:

“Daniel Yamada is someone I think is really going to turn some heads. He was behind Masen Wake and Kobe Freeman last year, so he didn’t get a lot of opportunity, but he definitely will this year and I think he’ll be very good for us.”

Keys to offensive success in 2019: It's all on the quarterback play, at least most of it, according to Brockbank. Should the Knights find good and productive play from their quarterbacks then the offense should improve on its overall production from a year ago.

Lone Peak defensive snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Ryan Denney

2018 defensive production: 16.9 ppg (2nd in 6A)

— Seven returning starters

— 4-3

Key defensive returning starters

Nate Ritchie (DB): Ritchie is one of the top, if not the top playmaker in the entire state, and will see most of his reps at safety.

Jared Fotu (LB): Fotu is the team leader and was the team's leading tackler last season.

Returning defensive starters

Nate Ritchie (DB)

Jared Fotu (LB)

John Henry Daley (DL)

Tiki Mili (DL)

Maxx Oborn (DL)

Keegan Nitta (LB)

Siale Tahi (LB)

Brockbank on Nate Ritchie:

“He’s a game-changer and he’s as good as it gets. He does a lot of things and does all those things really well. I think what makes him great is how he lifts others around him. He’s very inclusive and a hard worker. He pushes guys around him to be better.”

Brockbank on Jared Fotu:

“The biggest thing about Jared is his demeanor. He’s always calm under pressure and he’s just always working. He leads by example and is also a really good vocal leader.”

Keys to defensive success in 2019: All the parts are in place for Lone Peak to have another stellar defense. Outside of the two cornerback spots, every position is well-stocked with good returning talent. Should the Knights find two solid corners then they could improve upon last year's fantastic defensive performance.

Coaches Region 4 preseason straw poll: Second

Deseret News Region 4 prediction: First

Key region game: Sept. 27 at Corner Canyon

Bottom line

Lone Peak returns a lot of the same talent that won a 6A championship last season, so it's very reasonable to tab it as a favorite to take it again. The Knights simply have some of the best collective talent in the entire state and they should make a return trip to Rice-Eccles Stadium and have a very good chance to repeat as champions.

2019 Schedule

Aug. 16 — TIMPVIEW, 7 p.m.

Aug. 23 — at Jordan, 7 p.m.

Aug. 31 — at Narbonne, Calif., 1 p.m.

Sept. 6 — FARMINGTON, 7 p.m.

Sept. 14 — BISHOP GORMAN, NEV., 2 p.m.

Sept. 20 — WESTLAKE, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 — at Corner Canyon, 7 p.m.

Oct. 3 — at Skyridge, 7 p.m.

Oct. 10 — AMERICAN FORK, 7 p.m.

Oct. 16 — at Pleasant Grove, 7 p.m.

Felts Facts for Lone Peak High School

All-time record: 191-74 (22 years)

Region championships: 14 (1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 co, 2005, 2009-co, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 co, 2015, 2016, 2018)

Playoff appearances: 20

Current playoff appearance streak: 11 (2008-2018)

All-time playoff record: 35-18

State championships: 2 (2011, 2018)

State championship record: 2-4

Most played rivalry: 23 meetings with two schools, American Fork and Pleasant Grove, both dating back to 1997. Lone Peak leads American Fork 15-8 and Pleasant Grove 18-5.

Felt’s Factoids: Lone Peak is one of seven teams in state history to have a 14-0 record (2011). … Chase Hansen directed Lone Peak to its only state football title by compiling 475 yards of total offense, the second-most in championship-game history, in 2011.

...

Last 5

  • 2018 — 10-3 (3-1 in Region 4 – 6A Champions)
  • 2017 — 9-3 (3-1 in Region 4 - 6A Semifinals)
  • 2016 — 12-2 (6-0 in Region 4 – 5A Runner-up)
  • 2015 — 13-1 (6-0 in Region 4 – 5A Runner-up)
  • 2014 — 5-6 (3-3 in Region 4 – 5A First round)

...

Lone Peak coaching history

  • 2017-current — Bart Brockbank (19-6)
  • 2013-2016 — Mike Mower (38-14)
  • 2008-2012 — Tony McGeary (51-13)
  • 1997-2007 — Monte Morgan (86-51)

....

Deseret News Mr. Football recipients

  • 2011 — Chase Hansen, QB

Deseret News MVPs the past 10 years

Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years

  • 2018 — Masen Wake, FB
  • 2018 — Matt Moore, OL
  • 2018 — Jared Fotu, MLB
  • 2018 — Brock McChesney, CB
  • 2018 — Nate Ritchie, S
  • 2017 — Cody Collins, WR
  • 2016 — Jackson McChesney, FB
  • 2016 — Tyler MacPherson, WR
  • 2016 — Ryan Schoen, C
  • 2016 — Seth Larnsen, DE
  • 2016 — Thomas Rossi, K
  • 2015 — Talmage Gunther, QB
  • 2015 — Terrence Levy, DL
  • 2015 — Seth Corry, DB
  • 2012 — Talon Shumway, WR
  • 2012 — Josh Buck, LB
  • 2011 — Connor Humphrey, WR
  • 2011 — Curtis Taufa, LB
  • 2011 — Micah Hannemann, DB
  • 2011 — Zach Saunders, SP
  • 2009 — Kyson Flake, LB

To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.