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Prep football: Jordan dethrones Lone Peak in 5A semifinals

Published November 9, 2012 6:02 pm

Jordan racks up 469 yards of offense against Knights.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

On the bench, Jordan's offensive line sat back as fans and players streamed out of Rice-Eccles Stadium.

They were icing their sore limbs, relaxing and looking very satisfied. After an afternoon of putting up 469 yards on Lone Peak's defense in a 35-14 semifinal win, they were taking a well-deserved breather.

"It's amazing playing behind these five tough guys, and I couldn't do it without them," sophomore quarterback Austin Kafentzis said. "Those guys sitting on the bench — icing up and already getting ready for next game — those are the guys who deserve all the credit."

The Beetdiggers were a force in the trenches, paving their way to the 5A finals with a fierce running game and efficient passing. Kafentzis took advantage, throwing for 206 yards and running for 127 while showcasing his speed and poise. Teammate Clay Moss also was a menace, tearing up the field for 116 yards and three touchdowns.

After converting all four first-half offensive drives and then pitching a shutout in the second half, it was all fairly elementary for Jordan. The Beetdiggers got the yards especially when they needed to, going 10 for 12 on third-down conversions.

Heavy on their minds were memories of last season, when Jordan fell in a 45-41 shootout in the final minute to the Knights. They considered Thursday's win fair comeuppance.

"They're a hell of a team; I think they're the best D-line we've faced," senior guard Tyshon Mosley said. "Going into every game, you've got to have that mentality, 'We're gonna kick their butts.' I think we did that today."

Former Jordan quarterback Baron Gajkowski started for Lone Peak and gave his best shot, but some early and late struggles cost the Knights.

The Beetdiggers wrangled an interception on Lone Peak's first drive, and Kafentzis found Nick West soon after for a 32-yard touchdown pass. Only four minutes later, Clay Moss polished off a 50-yard drive with a touchdown run, giving Jordan a 14-0 lead to start. Lone Peak cut the lead in half with a touchdown pass to Talon Shumway, but that was close as it would get for the Knights. The Diggers' offense kept churning, getting touchdown runs from Moss and Kafentzis. Shumway scored again before the half to cut the lead to 28-14.

That was it for Lone Peak's offense, which came within 6 yards and then 1 yard of the end zone in the second half. The Jordan defense shut them out both times.

"We tried to challenge our kids," Jordan coach Eric Kjar said. "Talon's a great athlete and can win those jump balls, so we had to tell our kids to step up. I think they answered that challenge."

Kafentzis ended up with 333 total yards. Gajkowski finished with 332.

Jordan moves on to its first final since 1998, hoping it has the advantage over injury-plagued Syracuse. The Beetdiggers know they aren't done.

"I'm proud of our kids and what they've been doing," Kjar said. "We just want more." —

5A semifinals Jordan 35, Lone Peak 14

R Austin Kafentzis gains 333 yards of offense with a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown.

• Clay Moss adds 116 rushing yards and three scores.

• Former Jordan quarterback Baron Gajkowski racks up 332 yards in a loss for the Knights.

Photo galleries • For more photos of Class 5A and Class 3A state semifinal games Thursday, visit http://www.tribpreps.com

Playoffs schedule

4A semifinals, Friday

at Rice-Eccles Stadium

11 a.m. • Highland vs. Mountain Crest

2:30 p.m. • Timpview vs. East

3A semifinals, Friday

at Rice-Eccles Stadium

6:30 p.m. • Juan Diego vs. Dixie

2A title game, Saturday

at Pleasant Grove High

11 a.m. • Manti vs. San Juan

1A title game, Saturday

at Pleasant Grove High

2 p.m. • Duchesne vs. Rich