RIVERTON — Coach Eric Kjar didn’t know what to expect from the Riverton Silverwolves Friday night.
What the Corner Canyon coach wanted to see most from his team was a decent running attack and more consistency, especially junior quarterback Cole Hagen.
He got both and the Chargers’ defensive effort was an added blessing as Corner Canyon, 5A’s top-ranked team, dominated play and rolled to a 41-0 non-region victory.
Hagen scored the Chargers’ first touchdown on a 2-yard run and then quickly got on a roll. He threw for 317 yards and four touchdowns as Corner Canyon improved to 2-0 overall and Kjar felt much more comfortable than after his club had to rally to beat Pleasant Grove last week.
“We knew they (the Silverwolves) would be tough, and have a great defense,” he said. “But our defense put us in some great positions and Cole made some good things happen to get us out of here with a win.”
Corner Canyon held Riverton to just 72 total yards and recovered a pair of fumbles. The Silverwolves had just one play of more than 20 yards the entire game.
“We had to sweat it out last week,” Kjar said. “We still have a lot of things to work on, but I’m feeling a lot better about this one.”
The actual victory wasn’t surprising, but the ease of it made Corner Canyon fans happy and kept them celebrating on Riverton’s field for as much as 30 minutes afterward.
Riverton, a 6A school which knocked off last week’s top team, Skyridge, last week in coach Jody Morgan’s first game, kept the game close early thanks to a pass interception by Tristyn Hymas near the goal line on Corner Canyon’s first drive, and then senior punter Cole Candalot forced the Chargers to endure long drives with his booming punts that averaged 47 yards, including some against the traditional Riverton wind.
Hagen’s first score gave Corner Canyon a 7-0 run late in the first quarter and the Chargers couldn’t score again until Hagen and running back Austin Bell made most of the plays during a 79-yard drive that ended with a 34-yard pass from Hagen to John John Mitchell.
That score 5:03 before halftime might have been the turning point. The play changed the game’s momentum and led to three touchdowns in a three-minute span that resulted in the Chargers earning a 27-0 halftime lead and their fans began chanting “We want (Ala)'Bama.”
After that, the defense mostly stepped up, limiting Riverton to minus-6 yards in the second half. Hagen also kept his passing touch and found Noah Kjar for two more touchdown scores. The second one made it 41-0 and caused a running clock due to the UHSAA’s 35-point “mercy rule.”
Riverton never threatened. The Silverwolves’ offense had just four first downs – none in the second half. Junior quarterback Cannon Coggins completed 4 of 12 passes for 39 yards and was also the leading rusher with 24 yards. Riverton’s biggest play was a 22-yard throw from Coggins to Carter Miller that moved the ball to near midfield late in the first half, but the squad couldn’t get any closer to the goal line and crashed to Earth after last week’s exciting opening victory.