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HIGHLAND — There was not love lost between these Lone Peak and Herriman when they met on the field Friday night in the second round of the 6A state football playoffs.
Herriman's offense picked up right where it left off from a week ago in a win over Davis and moved the ball quickly across midfield. The Mustangs looked to be on their way to piercing a tough Lone Peak defense, but defensive tackle Savea Fitisemanu broke through the line and stripped-sacked Herriman quarterback Jack White, and Conner Kelly recovered the fumble inside the Knights' 40-yard line.
A few plays later, Knights quarterback Easton Comer found receiver Cole Christensen on a deep throw for a 46-yard touchdown for the first points of the game for Lone Peak.
The Knights never looked back and went on to outscore the Mustangs 31-0 through the first three quarters to claim a 37-14 victory over Herriman.
"I thought we looked a little rusty with the time off, but overall we played well," Lone Peak head coach Bart Brockbank said. "Defensively, I thought we played really good, and it's great to see Comer continue to get better each game."
The Knights senior quarterback accounted for four total touchdowns, three through the air and one on the ground. He saved his best touchdown for last as he rolled out to his right and found Christensen in the back of the end zone for a toe-dragging touchdown. The coverage by the Mustangs was there, but Comer only needed a little space to fit the ball into the tight window.
The offensive line gave Comer a clean pocket to throw and opened running lanes for the Knights' running back tandem of Jaxson Willits and Tyler Bilbro. The line was led by offensive guard and future Virginia Cavalier Joe Brown.
"We know how important it is to control the tranches and when we do that like we did tonight we know we can win ball games," Brockbank said.
But there are two sides to controlling the trenches, and Brockbank said his defensive line accumulated over 23 sacks on the season, which hasn't gone unnoticed. That's been a big factor in Lone Peak beating teams this season.
"Those guys have been stout all year," Brockbank said. "They create a lot of chaos and do a great job of flustering quarterbacks. It all starts up front; and when those guys have it going, it helps make life easier for our linebackers and secondary."
This strong rushing attack is led by senior defensive end Conner Kelly, who crossed the double-digit sack mark on the season with his strong performance Friday.
"Be a hungry dog because hungry dogs run faster," Kelly said when asked to describe his mindset when quarterback hunting. "I also try to watch film and focus on their tackles' movements during the week so I can get into the backfield as quickly as possible"
Lone Peak will play their final home game of the season when they host the 7-4 Bingham Miners in quarterfinals Friday.