Corner Canyon football the team to beat
Aug 26, 2020 02:07PM
By Catherine Garrett
Corner Canyon’s Austin Bell rushed for nearly 100 yards and two touchdowns in the Chargers’ win over Farmington 49-20 Aug. 14. The First Team All-State running back also had two receptions for 17 yards. (Photo courtesy Astrongphotography)
By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]
Corner Canyon High’s football team has been dominating the state the past few seasons, winning 37 games while losing just one as they won the 5A state championship in 2018 and the 2019 6A title. That loss was by one point—34-33—in the 2017 5A state semifinals against Skyridge and the Chargers have simply been on a tear ever since, outscoring opponents by an average of more than 30 points a game. Its closest game was a 21-17 win over Lone Peak last fall while only three of the 26 games over the past two years have been one-score contests.
The nation has also been taking notice with the Chargers beginning the 2020 season ranked just outside the top 25 by Max Preps.
“It’s a welcomed challenge and it’s what you’re trying to achieve as a program,” head coach Eric Kjar said. “Then, it becomes the pressure for your program to step up to the challenge and meet those high expectations. So, it’s a good thing.”
Wide receiver Cody Hagen said the team navigated through the offseason amidst the pandemic by social distancing, wearing masks and working in smaller groups to prepare for the year. “It feels great to be able to get back into the swing of things. We are super excited to get into the season,” he said. “We all heard that our season was getting shortened and how it could also get canceled which discouraged us. Hopefully, we can finish the season healthy.”
Seven other starters return on the offensive side of the ball for Corner Canyon, including First Team All-State players center Jackson Light, running back Austin Bell and wide receiver Noah Kjar. Wide receivers Talmage Handley and Jett Meine, offensive linemen Luke Sampson and Dawson Jacobsen along with defensive players Light—who plays defensive line—and linebacker Hayden Easterly and defensive back Ryan Cahoon will also provide leadership on and off the field for the Chargers.
Senior quarterback Jaxson Dart, who transferred from Roy, linemen Brennon Mangum and Hreinson Vanover, linebackers Harrison Taggart and Micah Wilson and defensive back Scott Iverson are also newcomers who look to be impact players for Corner Canyon, according to head coach Kjar.
“Things have been going really well,” Kjar said. “Our kids have been working extremely hard and are really excited to have a season.”
In its first game of the year, the Chargers led 42-0 at halftime in a win over Farmington 49-20 Aug. 14. Bell and Dart combined for 170 yards on the ground and four touchdowns while Dart completed 14 of 15 passes for 230 yards and three more scores. Noah Kjar caught five passes for 83 yards and a touchdown while four other receivers—Bell, Hagen, Handley and Meine—hauled in a combined 10 catches for 147 yards and two TDs. Harrison Taggart’s nine tackles and Cahoon’s eight led the way defensively while Jayden Kaio and Brody Ross each recorded a sack.
“I thought we played a good game on both offense and defense with the score being 49-0 while our starters were in,” Hagen said. “There are always a few things you can fix and get better at, but overall it was a good game. We were just really excited to get into the season and start playing.”
Against Herriman Aug. 21, Corner Canyon defeated the Mustangs 56-0, again taking a huge halftime lead – 49-0 – before a third quarter touchdown completed the scoring.
Three of Handley’s four receptions went for touchdowns as he finished the game with 156 yards receiving. Noah Kjar hauled in six yards for 258 yards, including a 76-yard reception for a score. Bell and Darts accounted for the other four touchdowns, running two TDs each into the end zone.
Corner Canyon is also scheduled to play Bingham Aug. 27, Jordan Sept. 4, Alta Sept. 11, Pleasant Grove Sept. 18, Lone Peak Sept. 24, Westlake Oct. 2, Skyridge Oct. 8 and American Fork Oct. 16.
Also on the 2020 team are Jarin Allen, Jackson Ames, Bridger Anderson, Luke Benton, Owen Borg, Sam Broman, Mason Burden, Dylan Carlson, Christian Castro, Cody Christensen, Carson Compton, Brad Critchfield, Brody Cutrer, Bridger Davies, Blaze Degracie, Charlie Ebeling, Josh Fleck, Josiah Franco, Jaden Gamache, Colton Grimshaw, Quinn Hale, Zach Hale, Hayden Hall, Rayce Hamel, Taylor Harris, Isaac Hawkins, Luke Henstrom, Spencer Holliday, Kolbyn Jackson, Dawson Jacobsen, Ashton Johnson, Jayden Kaio, Ryo Kano, Jon King, Spencer Kirkham, James Lebaron, Hudson Likes, Carlson Louie, Nathan Mackey, Jared Malula, Austin McCabe, Aiden McDonald, Teancum Mitchell, Sam Molen, Trevor Ogden, Jesse Peacock, Harrison Pyle, Mason Quick, Jackson Rasmussen, Boston Ross, Brody Ross, Luke Sampson, Hugo Sanchez, Cole Sexton, Brad Smith, Austin Suchar, Jack Vanworkem, Emmitt Walbeck, Bracken Warburton and Nicholas White.
“We are very grateful for the opportunity to be playing football,” coach Kjar said. “Our kids have been working very hard and have been on edge in hopes of having a season. We are extremely happy to be able to play.”