Bingham sent all the blitzing power it could muster at Corner Canyon’s offense and, as has been the case in every test, the Chargers had an ace answer.
Corner Canyon evaded the Miners’ pass rush all night with a punishing screen game and got five touchdowns from quarterback Devin Brown for the Chargers’ 43rd straight victory, this one by a 35-7 scoreline.
Corner Canyon coach Eric Kjar expected Bingham to bring the heat and pressure on the Chargers’ offense.
“That’s kind of what we knew going in, that they’d try to create a lot of chaos with that and we’d have to try to counter it with different things,” Kjar said. “Our guys executed it pretty good and did a good job and then we got some big plays, too, in the pass game.”
Brown struck quickly three plays into the game, finding an outlet in running back Dylan Carlson, who followed his blockers and took a screen pass for a 72-yard touchdown with 11:07 left in the first quarter.
“He’s got a really, really strong arm and can whip it around,” Kjar said of Brown.
Brown was sharp on the following drive and needed only two plays for a 97-yard touchdown loft to route technician Cody Hagen, who ran free of Bingham’s secondary with speed to spare.
Hagen attributes the Chargers’ receiving corps’ ability to exploit space and pick up chunks of yards after the catch to Kjar’s offseason track program.
“That’s what we do it for, is literally for this specifically to get faster and improve on speed mechanics and everything,” Hagen said.
Bingham’s pass rush got Brown out of his rhythm in the second quarter, but an Ashton Free interception flipped the momentum back and gave the Chargers a short field.
Brown capitalized again and found another weapon in Jett Meine, who took a 16-yard inside screen to the end zone to make it 21-0 with 8:29 left to halftime.
After Blaze DeGracie broke open a strong run after the catch for a chunk of 47 yards, Brown took care of the scoring himself with a 12-yard keeper touchdown right up the middle for a 28-0 advantage with 2:55 left until the half.
The Chargers punctuated the first half with another pick from Charlie Ebeling. Corner Canyon’s defense can find itself in the shadow of the explosive offense, but Hagen credited it with a “lights out” performance in keeping Bingham off balance.
“They get in and give us a three and out. Then, we’re back in throwing it deep,” Hagen said. “They give us some leeway for sure.”
In Corner Canyon’s first possession of the second half, Brown found Hagen for a 58-yard gain on third and long before hooking up with Meine for the receiver’s second touchdown of the night on a 22-yard catch and run.
The Miners put together a nine-play drive capped with a short rushing touchdown from quarterback Cody Lazenby to end the shutout with 3:39 left in the fourth quarter, making it 35-7.
Kjar nodded to scheduling tough teams like East and Bingham in nonregion play to force the Chargers adjust in preparation for the Region 4 gauntlet that awaits them.
“That’s why you do it,” Kjar said, “is because you want to be able to make some adjustments or have to push through and have a little adversity and go against good competition.”