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Green Canyon thriving behind unlikely starting QB and chaotic defensive mentality

Jake Lundin took over at quarterback two weeks before the start of the season and his dual-threat ability has changed Green Canyon’s offense completely.

Jake Lundin, Green Canyon
Jake Lundin, Green Canyon
James Edward

Two weeks before the start of the high school football season, Green Canyon had a wrench thrown in its plans when its projected starting quarterback decided he didn’t want to play anymore.

Losing a two-year starter at such a key position so close to the start of the season could’ve been a massive problem for a team with high expectations, but Jake Lundin has made the transition a seamless one.

The dual-threat quarterback has brought a different dimension to the offense this season as Green Canyon marched through the preseason with a 4-0 record.

“It’s really added to what we’ve been able to do. Lundin adds so much to the game because of his athleticism. He loves to run with the ball, he can throw the ball well and every week he’s throwing the ball better and better and hitting his targets,” said Green Canyon coach Craig Anhder.

“I feel like defenses have to prepare for more. And it’s nice because at times with his athleticism he can just make a play.”

Through four games Lundin has completed 62 percent of his passes for 581 yards and seven touchdowns, but it’s his 584 rushing yards and six rushing TDs that’s been the game changer for the Wolves.

Lundin and his Green Canyon teammates face their toughest test of the season this Friday as they open Region 11 play at rival Sky View — the school it split off from three years ago. Sky View won the first two meetings quite comfortably, but this year’s game is realistically the first time they’ll be on equal footing with a similar amount of seniors.

“We feel like we played hard against Sky View every year, they just had more players. We’re excited, we’re coming into our own and building a program,” said Anhder, who coached Sky View for 12 years before moving to Green Canyon when the school opened. “Sky View is still a great team and we’re excited for the challenge.”

The rivalry between these schools has been intense in every sport since Green Canyon opened its doors, but this Friday’s clash is the most anticipated of them all.

Sky View is 3-1 this preseason with a close loss to Skyridge in Week 2 and opens region play as the team to beat. A big reason why is the return of dual-threat quarterback Mason Falslev, who’s passed for 680 yards and seven TDs this season while rushing for 269 yards and two scores.

Sky View’s offense faces a unique defensive challenge on Friday against a fast, undersized Green Canyon defense. It starts at nose guard with 138-pound Travis Whiting, the heart of Green Canyon’s chaotic defense.

The senior wrestler is very quick and athletic and regularly disrupts what opposing offenses are trying to do. Some teams this year have resigned themselves to double-teaming Whiting.

Those double-teams naturally open things up for the numerous other quick and athletic players in Green Canyon’s front seven.

“Our defense is about chaos and we want to create as much chaos as possible, and it’s a struggle to prepare for. I know, we play against it every day,” said Anhder.

Green Canyon has been playing in Sky View’s shadow each of the past two seasons but this Friday it has a chance to make a statement to the rest of Region 11 and 4A.