DRAPER — After an hour-long lightning delay and a sluggish third quarter, the Corner Canyon Chargers had given up 23 unanswered points and trailed Pleasant Grove 30-20 heading into the final quarter Friday night.
The Chargers needed some electricity and they got it as quarterback Cole Hagen hit senior wide receiver John Mitchell for three, fourth-quarter touchdown passes as Corner Canyon rallied for a 40-30 victory.
“John and I have played multiple sports together,” Hagen said. “He is a heck of a receiver and he gets open a lot and the coaches are calling the right plays.
Hagen to Mitchell will likely be a talked-about dynamic duo for Corner Canyon this season. The fourth-quarter touchdowns to Mitchell were for 35, 24 and 44 yards respectively, as Hagen finished the night with over 400 yards passing and five touchdowns.
“He (Mitchell) played for us the last three or four games last year,” Corner Canyon coach Eric Kjar said. “His process going into the season was so much better and he is leaps and bounds ahead of where he was last year at this time.”
Pleasant Grove took the opening kick with quarterback Jake Jensen getting it going early. After two quick first downs, the Vikings faced a 3rd-and-15 after a delay of game and a fumble. Jensen hit Jackson Hill for a 27-yard completion and on the next play hit Dane Christiansen for a seven-yard touchdown pass to take a 7-0 lead.
With junior QB Hagen under center, the Charger offense came out sharp, moving the ball 80 yards in just over three minutes to tie the game at 7-7. The big play on the drive was a 35-yard completion from Hagen to Caleb Dyer. Hagen, proving to be a dual-threat quarterback, scampered in for a 16-yard touchdown run that tied the game.
After a three-and-out from the Vikings offense, Hagen and the Corner Canyon offense were back in business. With a drive starting at their own 37, the Chargers drove to the Pleasant Grove 18. A holding penalty and a chop block pushed Corner Canyon into a 2nd-and-29, but Hagen threw a 27-yard strike to Noah Kjar. One play later that duo hooked up again, this time for a 4-yard touchdown. A missed extra point extended the lead to 13-7 after one quarter.
After three, three-and-outs between the two teams, Corner Canyon got the ball back at their own 20 with 7:04 remaining until half. After an incomplete pass to start the drive, Hagen picked up five-yards via the run. A 25-yard completion to John Mitchell, a 30-yard strike to Austin Bell and a 14-yard touchdown pass to Mitchell put the Chargers up 20-7.
Pleasant Grove got the ball back with 3:31 until half. Four consecutive runs from Dane Christiansen picked up 25 yards. Jensen found Jackson Hill with a 13-yard pass and after two more Christiansen runs, Jensen found Easton Farmer on a 24-yard touchdown pass with 18 seconds remaining as Corner Canyon took a 20-14 lead into the locker room.
Corner Canyon plays Riverton next week on the road and coach Kjar is looking for some of his team leaders to step forward.
“I think energy tonight was the biggest thing. I think in the second and third quarters we didn’t play like we normally do,” Kjar said “We have a lot of talent but what we are missing is some leadership. The kids rebounded well so this will be good for us.”