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Highland • Lone Peak’s Luke Durfey wasn’t about to let the Knights’ homecoming be spoiled.
The running back rushed for a pair of touchdowns to help Lone Peak fend off American Fork, 27-21, on Friday night.
Durfey punched it into the end zone from a few yards out to give the Knights a lead with 52.2 seconds until the half. Later, with the game on the line, Durfey also scored the final Lone Peak touchdown in the fourth quarter. The big back was able to churn his feet for a few more yards even when it looked like the play was going to be dead, it was very evident on both of his touchdown runs.
“Shout out to my O-line because I can see open space. If I can get one on one with a defender it’s pretty easy to put your head down and get a couple more yards,” Durfey said.
Things for American Fork started out hot. On the second play from scrimmage, Boise State commit Maddux Madsen connected with Trey Roberts for the first points of the game.
On their second drive of the game, the Cavemen went for it on fourth down, just inside Lone Peak territory. Madsen converted the down, rushing for the needed three yards but it was called back by an illegal procedure call. Madsen and the offense stayed out for the 4th and 8 they were facing but failed to convert, with Madsen’s pass nearly intercepted.
Lone Peak took over at their own 40-yard line after the turnover on downs, and put together multiple big-chunk plays yards on either first or second down. This was something that head coach Bart Brockbank said was by design.
“We have a big play offense but we try to grind the clock,” Brockbank said. “Especially against Maddox, we were trying to keep the ball in his hands. And so we’re trying to get long drives and sustainable drives and get points up.”
The combination of Lone Peak quarterback Easton Comer and Matt Bateman worked very well, with the two connecting multiple times on the night. But the play that got the Knights on the board first was a short pass from Comer to Luke Hyde in the back of the endzone. The touchdown tied game at 7-7 with 3:20 left in the first quarter.
That’s about the time American Fork’s struggles began. Madsen once again converted a fourth down with his feet but it was the impressive play from the Knights’ secondary that really stood out. Spencer Fotu had multiple pass breakups to end the first quarter.
After a turnover on downs, the Knights marched down the field, eating up over six minutes of the clock in the process.
On the ensuing Cavemen possession, Durfey shined as a linebacker on the other side of the ball, combining with Nick Siri for a 10-yard that would help get the ball back in Lone Peak’s hands late in the second quarter, setting up Durfey’s first score of the game.
The Knights added another score when Comer connected with Crew McChesney for a 41-yard touchdown with 3:16 left in the third quarter.
Towards the end of the third quarter, Madsen and American Fork wideout Fisher Ingersoll finally got on the same page and started moving the ball effectively down the field. Madsen’s second touchdown pass of the night came from 6-yards out when he connected with Cade Wilkinson.
But Lone Peak had an answer.
On the ensuing kickoff, Cole Christensen nearly took it all the way to the house but was knocked out of bounds around the Caveman’s 20-yard line. That set up Durfey’s second touchdown run of the game. The Knights went for two and this time converting with Comer finding McChesney to extend the lead, 27-14.
Once the ball was back in his hands, Madsen made quick work of the Lone Peak defense, connecting with Jace Hull for the touchdown only 2 minutes after getting the ball back.
Lone Peak’s following drive stalled and it looked as if Madsen and the Cavemen were going to mount the comeback. But Durfey again sacked Madsen for a 10-yard loss.
“Luke, let’s just say he’s the heart and soul of the team. I mean he does it all. He’s our Swiss Army knife this year,” Brockbank said.
The victory was sealed when Savea Fitsemanu sacked Madsen once again, this time on fourth-and-4.
Lone Peak won’t have much time to savor this victory as they will turn their full attention to Skyridge who suffered their first loss of the season versus Corner Canyon on Friday night. Meanwhile, American Fork will head home to take on Pleasant Grove.