I tell you these kids, man, they have so much heart and desire to win along with athletic ability. —Don Eck, Corner Canyon coach
DRAPER — In terms of football history, Corner Canyon and Skyline are in different galaxies. The Chargers are in their first year of existence, while the Eagles have captured 14 state championships.
At the end of four quarters Friday night, however, nothing separated the two programs.
Tied 13-13 after what had been a sluggish offensive performance in regulation, the Chargers took the field first with a playoff berth on the line. Quarterback Michael Ebeling found Riley Ogden on a screen and then scooted past the pylon. Three plays later Jake Hatfield snagged an interception off the hands of Skyline quarterback Braxton Chipman to preserve the Chargers' 20-13 win.
“I tell you these kids, man, they have so much heart and desire to win along with athletic ability,” Corner Canyon coach Don Eck said. “We got outcoached tonight by Skyline. The coaches over there had a (heck of a) plan for us. Our defense played great, but they outcoached our offensive staff and our special teams.
"But our kids pulled it out.”
The victory puts the Chargers (4-3, 4-0) in sole possession of the top seed in Region 7. Corner Canyon, with two region games remaining, is now positioned to join Payson (1909), Union (1951), East Carbon (1951) and Timpview (1977) as the only teams to capture region titles in their first year.
“It means a lot to these kids right now, but 10-20 years from now they’ll look back,” Eck said. “These kids are making history and it’s a beautiful thing. They deserve it because they’ve worked hard.”
Ebeling, despite struggling with his touch in the passing game, finished 11 of 25 for 122 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown to Parker Ellis with 6:59 in the fourth quarter. He added 120 yards and two more scores on 19 carries. Ogden added 54 yards on 21 rushes.
The Chargers complied 298 yards on 46 plays, and held Skyline (4-2, 2-2) to 97 yards on 56 plays. Chipman threw for 48 yards on 7 of 19 attempts. Aleck Russon tallied 88 yards on 24 attempts.
“They’ve improved every single week,” Eck said of his defensive unit, which recorded six sacks. “They were holding us all night and they only called it a couple times. They kept coming and coming and coming. That’s just a great effort from our defense.”
The Chargers took a 6-0 lead on Ebeling’s 13-yard scamper on the back of six consecutive run plays. Skyline’s Jake Wittwer pushed the Eagles ahead after a scoop-and-score on a blocked punt. Zach Adams extended the cushion to 13-7 on field goals from 43 and 34 yards before the late Ebeling-Ellis connection forced overtime.