Highland • After two hours of tough, physical football, Friday's quarterfinal between Lone Peak and Davis ultimately was decided by a single play on special teams.
All that stood between Davis and a potential overtime was a made extra point after scoring twice in the final period to cut its deficit to one point. As the ball was hiked for the extra point, Lone Peak linebacker Joshua Buck broke through the line, blocked the kick and helped send Lone Peak back to the Class 5A state semifinals with a 27-26 victory.
"I gave up a couple of big plays, and I told my boys I would make up for it, so I guess that's the way I did it," Buck said.
The fireworks started early Friday when Lone Peak quarterback Baron Gajkowski hooked up with Talon Shumway on a 65-yard scoring play just three plays into the game.
Lone Peak took a 10-0 lead on a 53-yard field goal from Michael Smith, but Davis finally found its offensive rhythm when quarterback Gage Cook scored on a pair of short runs, which were sandwiched between a 1-yard TD run by Gajkowski.
Lone Peak missed a golden chance to score just before half when Chase Stephan picked off a Cook pass and returned it inside the Darts' 5-yard line, but a goal-line stand by Davis kept Lone Peak's lead at 17-13 entering halftime.
"We felt like we had momentum and we felt bad about not getting it in, but we knew if we got one in the third quarter, we'd be OK," Lone Peak coach Tony McGeary said.
Shumway added a 7-yard run in the third period, while Smith tacked on another field goal to help Lone Peak lead 27-13 early in the fourth before Davis stormed back.
Cook finished a long drive with a scoring pass to Abel Porter, and after a three-and-out from the Davis defense, Porter took a punt near midfield and returned it to the Lone Peak 5-yard line. One play later, Cook hit Colton Chronister for the score that nearly tied the game.
"We had a few lapses on defense, but you have to hand it to Davis for throwing the ball and putting some good drives together," McGeary said.