5A football: Gajkowski leads Lone Peak past Syracuse

Published November 1, 2013 11:04 pm
Lone Peak to face Alta in the quarterfinals.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Syracuse • Lone Peak quarterback Baron Gajkowski struggled to explain his success in playoff games.

The Utah State commit mentioned his father's cooking and stressed his teammates making the difference.

Gajkowski's coach didn't have the same difficulty as his senior signal caller.

"He knows how to get it done," Lone Peak coach Mike Mower said. "He's got that extra sense of what he's got to do."

Gajkowski rushed for 170 yards to lead the Knights to a first-round upset of Syracuse 21-13 in the Class 5A playoffs Friday.

He pump faked, juked and powered his way to two scores, including a 24-yard run down the right sideline on fourth-and-1, on 24 carries.

"It looks like I'm doing all the work, but to be honest, it's my linemen moving guys around and pushing them," Gajkowski said. "They did a great job tonight. I usually — it kind of makes me mad — I get most of the credit for so-called moves and stuff. It's not me. It's on my guys up front."

Gajkowski led the Knights, the No. 3 seed from Region 4, 80 yards on 13 plays for a score to open the game.

Syracuse only needed one play to even the score when Kavika Fonua ran 71 yards around the left side for a score on the Titans' first play from scrimmage. But that's where Syracuse's offense ended. The Titans only gained 82 yards the rest of the game.

"Our defense just stepped it up and got it done," Mower said.

And while the Knights defense silenced the Titans, Gajkowski and his offense gobbled up clock with long drives. Lone Peak ran 45 plays in the first half while the Titans only managed 15.

"It was a little bit of a quiet game," Lone Peak defensive back Chase Armstrong said. "But our offense did good. They were holding the ball, moving it, making sure they stayed on the field, giving us a rest."

And Armstrong gave the Knights some breathing room when he intercepted a Kole Tracy pass and returned it 42 yards for a score and a 21-10 lead early in the third quarter.

"I just watched it all the way, read the quarterback, saw him throw it, and I was just happy I could be in the right place at the right time," he said.

The Titans, who reached the state title game last season, added a field goal midway through the fourth quarter, but Gajkowski orchestrated another time-munching drive to run out the clock and complete the upset of the No. 2 seed Titans. —


O Baron Gajkowski rushes for a game-high 170 yards and two scores to lead the Knights to the upset win.

• The Lone Peak defense holds the Titans to 153 yards.

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