HOLLADAY — If exorbitant passing yards and run-and-gun offenses aren't particularly your thing, you belonged at Olympus High on Friday night. In a game featuring stout defenses and a “3-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust” offensive approach from both sides, the Corner Canyon Chargers eked out a 17-16 victory over the Olympus Titans.
Down 17-3 to begin the fourth, Olympus staged a furious rally, capped by a touchdown from 1 yard out with just 7.7 seconds left on the clock. Instead of the inevitable overtime, however, Olympus' extra point slipped just outside the left goalpost, leaving the Titans a point short in their quest for a 4-0 record.
While Olympus suffered its first loss of the year, Corner Canyon moved to a surprising 2-0 in Region 7 and is on its first-ever winning streak.
“After that first win, I think we're going to go on a roll,” said running back Riley Ogden. “Watch out for Corner Canyon.”
The junior led the Chargers' ground attack, racking up 92 yards. Corner Canyon quarterback Matt Ebeling added two touchdowns — one rushing, one passing — and a field goal that gave Corner Canyon its point total.
Olympus was led by the dual rushing threat of Ben Seagle (84 yards) and Coleman Meier (89 yards) and 98 yards passing by Chase Manning. Until the heroics of the fourth quarter, yards were scarce for the Titans, thanks to a stout front line for the Chargers, who notched four sacks on the night.
“Gage Kartchner gave pressure any time he wanted off the edge,” Corner Canyon coach Don Eck said after the game. Kartchner notched two sacks and a fumble recovery on the night.
The Chargers struck on their first drive, moving 67 yards downfield, led by 37 from Ogden. Ebeling connected with Izaac Brinton to claim a 7-0 lead.
Olympus answered quickly, earning a first-and-goal from the Corner Canyon 10, but a sack by Kartchner on first down pushed the Titans back to the 17, where Anderson connected on a 27-yard field goal. That 7-3 flash would be all the scoring in the first half.
Corner Canyon moved the score to 10-7 in the third after Ebeling kicked a 27-yard field goal. Then, with 6:33 left in the quarter, the Chargers got the ball back and held on to it for nearly seven minutes. Nine carries went to Ogden, but it was Ebeling that sprinted in for a touchdown from 3 yards out.
Down 17-3 with 11:55 remaining in the fourth, Olympus answered with a long touchdown drive of its own, capped by a 7-yard blast up the middle by Seagle.
Spencer Williams intercepted Ebeling on a rare long throw to give the Titans the ball near midfield. The Chargers' Max Adams then picked off Manning in the end zone to return the favor and end the threat.
Corner Canyon was forced to punt and Meier pulled off a big return. Despite a clipping penalty, the Titans still opened with the ball on the Chargers' 34 with 3:12 left in the game. Twelve plays later, including two clutch fourth-down conversions, Manning lofted a fade to Connor Haller, who outjumped the defender for the touchdown.
Overtime was not to be, though, as the extra point sailed high and just barely outside the left goalpost.