HIGHLAND — Trailing by a goal, a mere nine minutes into their contest against the visiting Timpview Thunderbirds, the Lone Peak Knights made a subtle, yet game-altering decision. The Knights changed formations. And while the adage, “Players win football (soccer) matches, not formations,” is certainly true, the diamond formation definitely helped the Knights roll to a 5-2 victory Friday afternoon at Lone Peak High School.
After the shift, the Knights scored two quick goals, both coming off the foot of star Chanson Vawdrey. Vawdrey’s efforts were part of a three-goal first half by Lone Peak, a frame in which the Knights completely changed the course of the game.
“We kind of came out a little hesitant,” Lone Peak assistant coach Jim Jaramillo said. “We were hesitant to come out strong and we sat back a little bit. That being said, we are an experienced team and as soon as (Timpview) scored a goal we turned it around, and came right back and scored two quick ones. The kids responded, and that is what we like to see.”
Per Jaramillo, a large reason for the hesitancy displayed by Lone Peak was the absence of head coach Mark Graham.
Without their headman, and coming off a recent loss to Viewmont, a lesser team may have buckled under the early adversity. Instead, the Knights responded with a victory.
“I saw more character in our team, coming back from a deficit,” said Jaramillo. “We don’t want to give up goals, but since we did it was nice to see them respond well, come back and get the win.”
In addition to Vawdrey, Abel Bingham also netted two goals, both of which came in the second half. Logan Beus chipped in another score for Lone Peak, on a penalty kick. Not to be forgotten was Kade Jorgensen, who assisted on both of Vawdrey’s scores.
“Abel did a great job scoring those two goals,” said Jaramillo. “Logan did an awesome job controlling the middle for us. And KJ (Jorgensen) too. He really helped solidify the middle. As for Chanson, he is just a heck of a player up top.”
From the start, Lone Peak appeared to be the better team, between two early shots by Justin Jones and a trio of shot attempts on a Lone Peak set piece. And yet it was the Thunderbirds who found the back of the net.
Nine minutes in, Timpview forward Brennan Peterson made a timely run into the box and was hit with an excellent cross. Peterson then calmly proceeded to send the ball into the goal.
After the Timpview score, the shift to the diamond formation netted the Knights forwards a little more breathing room. As a result, Jorgensen was able to find Vawdrey twice, and each time the forward was able to find the back of the net.
Just before the end of the half, Beus scored on a penalty kick, which was awarded due to a Timpview handball in the box. The score gave Lone Peak a commanding 3-1 lead heading into the break.
The second half was all Knights, aside from one scoring sequence by the Thunderbirds. Lone Peak racked up an astounding 13 shots in the second half, seven of which were on target. For the game, Lone Peak attempted 22 shots, more than a few of which were surefire goals — save for the efforts of Timpview keeper Chris Stringham.
The Thunderbirds attempted only two shots in the second half, but they made the most of their best opportunity. About 12 minutes into the half, midfielder Cesar Alvarez delivered a near flawless ball into the box. The Thunderbirds’ Asa Jackson was wide open on the receiving end, and the subsequent score cut the Lone Peak lead to 3-2.
Yet again, though, Lone Peak showed its character, this time by way of Bingham. His two scores pushed the lead to 5-2, effectively ending the game.
“It was nice to see the guys respond again and get us the win,” said Jaramillo.
Up next, Lone Peak will play at Lehi on Wednesday, March 22, while Timpview will play at Skyridge on Tuesday, March 21.