Chase Hansen couldn't recall ever accounting for eight touchdowns in a game. That's right, the University of Utah commit whose heroics this season have lifted Lone Peak to the No. 1 ranking in 5A actually found something new to accomplish Friday. Hansen threw six touchdowns and rushed for two more in a wild 56-41 win over short-handed Highland in Salt Lake City.
"We wouldn't be able to do what we do without Chase," receiver Talon Shumway said.
That was truer than it has ever been Friday, when Hansen had a hand in each of the Knights' scoring plays, threw for 380 yards and rushed for 171 more.
Lone Peak entered the game in its first week atop The Tribune Power Rankings after Bingham lost last week to Orange Lutheran (Calif.). The Knights took advantage of the return of Shumway, who missed the first three games with a knee injury, and a breakout performance from Connor Humphrey, who caught five passes for 126 yards and three touchdowns.
Highland played most of the game without its two best offensive players. Running back Sione Houma, who has committed to Michigan, rushed just once for three yards before spraining his ankle on a kick return in the first quarter, and quarterback Anthony "Fish" Smithson left in the second quarter after injuring his right knee on defense in the second quarter.
"I felt real good about our guys coming in and not giving up," Highland coach Brody Benson said. "There plenty of times that we could have just packed up shop."
That wasn't in the cards for the Rams, the defending 4A champions who fell to 2-1 with the loss. Highland got a gritty second-half performance from backup quarterback Justin Weaver. Weaver accounted for five touchdowns, a headlining feat when not matched against Hansen's night. He threw for two touchdowns, rushed for two more, all after catching one from Smithson in the first quarter.
Lone Peak answered nearly each of Highland's volleys. The Knights were kept out of the end zone on just three possessions: a first-half fumble that set up Highland's second touchdown and a third-quarter punt. The last time came when Hansen was finally able to stop looking to score, and take a knee to run out the clock.
The scary part?
"I feel like our offense has the potential to do this every night," Hansen said.