[Moorpark, CA] Lone Peak (UT) wanted to leave a statement against LA's top city school.
Utah football is legit.
The Knights scored 27-unanswered points in the first half, setting them for a 41-21 victory over Narbonne. Narbonne struck first with a one-yard pass from Jake Garcia to Josh Jackson. The drive lasted nine pays, spanning 62-yards.
That was the only time Narbonne had control over the game.
Lone Peak found their footing after JD Neelam connected with Shaun for a 34-yard touchdown pass. Neelam is fresh off two stellar passing performances, throwing for 1063 yards and ten touchdowns in first two games. He made a few great throws, primarily to Trajen Hansen, that set-up Lone Peak's scoring drives.
Running back, Daniel Yamada, rushed for 130 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries. Yamada rushed downhill, and Narbonne all-star defense couldn't intimidate 6'2 205 back.
"It started to get a little chippy, but right off the bat, I tried to make them a little scared of me," Yamada said about his physical running. "Run as hard as I can, drop my shoulder, give them a little oww."
Narbonne struggled to keep the Knights out of the red zone in the first half. While Yamada and the offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage, Neelam challenged the secondary with throws to his receivers.
The star of the day was Mr. Everything, Nate Ritchie. Ritchie kicked three field goals, converted a fake punt, 75-yard kickoff return to the red zone, two interceptions, and a 70-yard interception return.
"He's like a hurricane," said head coach Bart Brockbank. "He just consumes everything."
Ritchie's all-around performance left everyone in awe. His longest field goal of the day, 40-yards, sailed over the crossbar with enough on it to be a 50-yarder. His 75-yard kickoff return came right after Narbonne's Jared Greenfield took an interception 62-yards to the endzone at the start of the third quarter. The interception return was the final dagger, ending Narbonne's last attempt to score.
Lone Peak defense played phenomenally. The dominated Narbonne's offense, putting heavy pressure on Garcia for a majority of the game, who came up limping after a few hits to the turf.
Whenever Lone Peak needed a play, Ritchie made it happen.
"It's just me," Ritchie said about his all-around performance. "I trusted my teammates to make their [plays], and I just see my opportunity and take it."
Brockbank knew Ritchie would play swiss army knife for the Knights since his freshman year. Brockbank waited until his sophomore season to begin putting pressure on Ritchie to play multiple roles, but since then, he has done it all.
A week ago, he returned a 41-yard touchdown to seal the Knights 30-20 win over Trimpview (UT). His other game-changing plays included a go-head 25-yard touchdown catch, fumble recovery, and 29-yard field goal.
The Knights traveled 900 miles for the game Saturday and brought a nice size crowd with them. While they were in Southern California, they made a trip to the beach. The 6A State Champions will represent the state of Utah on the national level once again when they host Bishop Gorman (NV) September 14th.
Narbonne will look to regroup against St. Paul next Friday.
Lone Peak 7 20 6 7
Narbonne 7 0 7 0