When the sun rises Saturday morning, it will mark the 1,409th day of Corner Canyon’s reign over the state of Utah.
The Chargers defeated American Fork 51-22 Friday evening to remain unbeaten over the last three-and-a-half seasons, 46 games in all.
Entering the matchup, the two Region 4 football powerhouses boasted perfect records and prolific offensive attacks, as they were both averaging over 50 points per game while being led by future Division I quarterbacks. But it was only the Chargers offense that performed at its normal high-octane rate on Friday.
That said, it took a few possessions before Corner Canyon found its rhythm. The Chargers’ first possession ended in a fumble inside their own territory and American Fork quickly capitalized on the visitors’ mistake, driving 33 yards, converting a fourth down and muscling into the end zone on a Cache Abo 1-yard run.
Corner Canyon’s next drive ended in an interception and its third drive a turnover on downs inside the Caveman 5-yard line.
The Chargers however, led by senior quarterback Devin Brown, settled in after the third turnover.
“We just came together as a team. We were a little flat at first and we knew what mistakes we made; it was all mental,” Brown said. “We just cut out the mental errors. At first it was a little loud so we were messing up on a couple play calls, not hearing the right plays. Once we figured all that stuff out, we were good.”
Brown was more than good the rest of the night, he was spectacular. The USC commit helped orchestrate a drive to tie things up a little over a minute into the second quarter and he was on fire after that, rushing for four touchdowns and throwing for two more as the Chargers cracked the game wide open and never looked back.
“He played really good,” Corner Canyon head coach Eric Kjar said. “He did a good job today. (American Fork) played some different stuff, a lot of stuff we hadn’t seen. They gave us a lot of new looks that we didn’t see or even really rep in practice and I was kind of surprised.
“We were kind of just going from the hip a little bit with some of that stuff. He did a good job just trusting our concepts and reading through.”
After going scoreless in the first quarter, Corner Canyon was nearly unstoppable. The three-time defending state champions took care of the ball and punted just once in the following three quarters. Over that same span, the Chargers’ defense forced five Caveman turnovers.
“Our kids are pretty resilient. They have pretty good confidence and they were able to weather that (slow start),” Kjar said. “We haven’t had anything like that this year. (American Fork) is a really, really good team. We knew we were going to have to play well.
“We had to earn a few of those drives early. We started making more plays and the kids got in a better rhythm after that. Our defense played well, too, and got the ball back for us a bunch of times, so that was huge.”
Corner Canyon’s impressive victory gives it its first region win of the year and improves its overall record to 6-0. With the loss, American Fork falls to 4-1 on the season.
Both teams will again face difficult Region 4 foes next week. Corner Canyon will return to Draper to take on Skyridge, another unbeaten squad and the last team to beat the Chargers.
American Fork will head to Highland where Lone Peak awaits. The two games are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.