Bill Oram column: Chase Hansen the quarterback is head of state
One player can only do so much.
Yes, that rule even applies to Chase Hansen. But the Lone Peak quarterback does soooo much. You know Hansen, the 6-foot-3 mountain on wheels who has committed to Utah, even though everyone seems to think he will play - get this - defense.
Yeah, right. Hansen is a tremendous and hard-hitting safety, but would a restaurant hire Wolfgang Puck to set the tables?
The No. 2 Bingham Miners were overmatched by Hansen and Lone Peak all night as Hansen passed for 381 yards and six touchdowns to lead top-ranked Lone Peak to a 45-24 win Friday over two-time defending state champs.
Bingham is a far cry from the American Forks and Wests Hansen bullied in recent weeks.
The game was truly a showdown between the Nos. 1 and 2 teams in the state.
Hansen not only reinforced Friday that he is the best quarterback in the state, he proved that he is, simply put, the best player in Utah high school football. Apologies to Davis defensive end Troy Hinds and Pleasant Grove lineman Brandon Fanaika, but Hansen is tops in 2011.
"Even when we didn't execute," Hansen said after the win, "things still happened."
Maybe he was just being coy, but Hansen was the very reason for those things happening.
Like on third and 5 at the end of the third quarter, when Hansen was trapped in a corner of Bingham defenders, twisted his way to avoid three tackles, and weaved his way forward for 15 yards. It set up a touchdown.
Like in the fourth quarter, when he scrambled for the sideline, appeared ready to run out of bounds and instead threw a 56-yard sideline-hugger to Connor Humphrey. It set up a touchdown.
"It just opens up a whole other aspect to our offense," Brigham Young-committed receiver Micah Hanneman said.
Lone Peak has a playbook. Sometimes, even, plays that get run can be found in that playbook. But when things fall apart - as they do when you play a team as capable as Bingham, which, even as it fell to 5-2, is still the state's second-best team - it's almost as if Hansen calls an audible - mid-play.
So the question remains, will this guy play quarterback in college?
"They've basically just said you're a quarterback until we say otherwise," Hansen said of the Utes. "I'm going to play quarterback until somebody tells me I can't."
Then, as he regularly does with gusto, he changed course.
"No," he said, "until I know I can't."
If you're waiting for Hansen to decide he can't do something, I recommend buying a recliner and the complete series of "The Wire." It's going to be a while. Frankly, it's not clear if he has ever failed.
(Insert string of Chuck Norrisisms here.)
What makes Hansen unique is that he is able to ply his trade in an offense full of star athletes. Hanneman and Talon Shumway will be Division 1 receivers, and Humphrey is vastly underrated as a playmaker for the Knights. While most Utah teams rise to prominence and find success between big-time linemen, the Knights are getting it done with skill players.
A la top-notch programs in Texas and California.
That's not to say Lone Peak would have the same success in those powerhouse states, or even that Hansen could have led Lone Peak to a win over Orange Lutheran, the California squad that walloped Bingham 42-7 in the preseason.
It's merely to say that this Lone Peak team is something special.
As you might expect, they take after Chase Hansen.
A closer look
Chase Hansen Bingham on Friday night:
Passing • 21 of 34 for 326 yards, six touchdowns, one interception
Rushing • 15 for 98 yards
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