Just two weeks into the high school football season, it appears young programs Corner Canyon and Westlake will both be as good as advertised.
Both are 2-0 behind outstanding offensive and defensive performances, and both are ranked in the Deseret News top 25.
This Friday they’ll both face their toughest test of the season — each other.
In a week featuring numerous mismatches, Westlake’s visit to Corner Canyon is one of the marquee games to pay attention to this Friday.
“We look forward to every game, but them being a 5A school and coming from a good region, and they beat us last year, we’re looking forward to the game,” said Corner Canyon coach Don Eck.
Westlake beat Corner Canyon 21-19 in Week 3 last season to improve to 3-0, but the Thunder went 0-6 the rest of the way in the brutally tough Region 4. That loss dropped Corner Canyon to 0-2 last season, but it responded with four straight victories and ultimately earned a share of the Region 7 title.
If the early returns from this season are any indicator, don’t expect either team to trend backward after Friday’s showdown.
“We have betters players than we had last year, we’re deeper, our offensive line is much improved from last year,” said Westlake coach Steve Clements.
Just as important, Westlake has sophomore sensation Chaz Ah You running the show at quarterback. He’s already rushed for five touchdowns and thrown for two more, and already he’s regarded as one of the top free safety recruits from the 2017 graduating class.
Ah You started at safety as a freshman last year, but Clements said the sky’s the limit on his potential both offensively and defensively.
“The upside and amount of improvement he makes from week to week is much larger than it would be for a junior or senior who’s been in the program. He’s making strides day by day, week by week and even hour by hour at practice, cause it’s all brand new,” said Clements. “He’s two games into his sophomore, and now starting to understand defenses and coverages.”
Clements has no doubt that it’s only a matter of time until colleges start recruiting Ah You not just as a safety but as a quarterback too.
Corner Canyon’s senior-loaded defense will do everything in its power to disrupt the good vibes the sophomore’s created the first two weeks of the season.
Eck is thrilled with how his team is handling the increased expectations this season, especially in last week’s 31-21 win at Springville in which the Chargers were forced to overcome some adversity in Eck’s mind.
“They’re playing extremely hard, both sides of the ball. It’s hard to find fault on either side of the football. That’s what I’m most pleased about,” said Eck.
The Corner Canyon-Westlake game is one of just six featuring 2-0 teams going head to head, along with Jordan at Pleasant Grove, Beaver at Parowan, Cedar at Skyline, Salem Hills at Juab and Uintah at Union.