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Prep football: Knights hand Miners first loss to a Utah team in 31 games

By James Edwards | Posted - Sep. 30, 2011 at 11:35 a.m.

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SOUTH JORDAN — Lone Peak quarterback Chase Hansen had enjoyed a fantastic season prior to Thursday's showdown with Bingham, but there were still those who wondered if he could be as effective against Bingham's stout defense.

He answered that question with a resounding "yes."

In what was another display of his ridiculous athleticism and ability to turn busted plays into touchdowns, Hansen torched Bingham's defense all night leading Lone Peak to a stunning 45-24 victory on the Miners' home field.

It was Bingham's first loss to a Utah team in 31 games, and the most points it has given up in a regular season game since 1996.

"We knew the odds were against us, but we also knew what we had to offer and show people. What bigger stage and what better opportunity than tonight," said Hansen. "I think we proved we can play with the big boys."

Hansen was the catalyst behind the rout. He opened the game with an 80-yard touchdown pass to Connor Humphrey and he never stopped picking on Bingham's secondary, completing 21 of 33 passes for 381 yards and six touchdowns. Humphrey was the recipient of three of those TD passes while Talon Shumway added a pair of his own.

Bingham's pass rush did a decent job putting Hansen under pressure throughout the game, but his improvisational skills to turn nothing into something are second to none.

"When I started scrambling and it wasn't there, other guys moved with me and the line kept working and it just opened up. We executed well and even when we didn't execute things still seemed to happen," said Hansen, who now has 23 touchdown passes and just two interceptions this year.

For as lopsided as the final score appears, Bingham actually led 24-21 with 7:41 remaining in the third quarter after opening the half on an 8-play scoring drive that Tonga Manu capped with a two-yard touchdown run.

Getting production out of Manu appeared to be a big boost for the Miners after bruising running back Daniel Palepoi left the game at halftime with a concussion after rushing for 112 yards on 19 carries.

Down 24-21, Lone Peak's offense didn't panic and responded with a nine-play drive that Hansen capped with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Humphrey on third-and-14.

"It was important to put a drive together. We just nickled and dimed a drive down the field," said Lone Peak coach Tony McGeary, whose team improved to 7-0 with the victory while dropping Bingham to 5-2.

After Bingham fumbled on the first play of its next possession, Lone Peak capitalized on the short field as Trevor Robb booted a 38-yard field goal to increase the lead to 31-24 with 3:54 remaining in the third.

Following another short Bingham possession, Hansen led Lone Peak on another clock-churning drive which he capped with an 8-yard TD pass to Shumway, increasing the lead to 38-24.

"When we got in the red zone, he was pin-point accurate on some of our touchdown passes. We knew we were going to have trouble running the ball with our running backs, we knew we were going to have to rely on Chase," said McGeary.

Lone Peak increased its lead to 45-24 on another improvisational moment from Hansen. Facing a third-and-11 and being flushed from the pocket, he heaved the ball downfield to Humphrey in double coverage. Somehow two Bingham defenders misjudged the ball, which Humphrey calmly corralled and strolled into the end zone for the 56-yard score.

In the first quarter it was a pair of touchdown passes by Brady Lail that put Bingham ahead 14-7, but in typical Hansen fashion he responded with two straight TD passes of his own to put Lone Peak back in front 21-14.


James Edwards


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