Our defense has been outstanding and they played great again tonight. They played awesome with how we started the game. You couldn't ask for a better start —Eric Kjar
SANDY — No Zach Wilson, no problem for Corner Canyon during its 38-21 beatdown of rival Alta Thursday night, in a game that wasn't as close as the score would indicate.
How does one beat a top team like the Hawks without its standout quarterback, who has accounted for 24 touchdowns and 2,446 yards of total offense? You present the type of defense the Chargers have all season long.
Corner Canyon's defense didn't allow Alta's prolific offense to cross midfield throughout the entire first half, while not allowing a first down until the early stages of the second quarter.
"Our defense has been outstanding and they played great again tonight," said Corner Canyon coach Eric Kjar. "They played awesome with how we started the game. You couldn't ask for a better start."
Corner Canyon's defensive stops set the offense up in prime position throughout the half, with the offense responding just about every time. The Charger offense set up shop consistently around midfield, with quarterback Cole Hagen directing things to the tune of 38 first-half points, to Alta's none.
Especially effective was running back Tai Gonzales, who scored on touchdown runs from seven, six and 12 yards out, leading a drastically new style of Corner Canyon offense that depended on tough line play and hard running.
"We just tried to challenge them a bit and get guys to step up," Kjar said. "We knew we could rely on our defense."
Also effective was junior 6-foot-4 receiver John Mitchell, who made a spectacular 27-yard touchdown catch.
"He's a stud. He's a really good player," Kjar said of Mitchell.
Overall the Charger defense allowed just 56 yards in the entire first half.
Holding up play in the second half was what looked to be a tough injury to a Corner Canyon lineman, who remained motionless on the field for almost a half hour. Despite being bitter rivals, both teams gathered at midfield to take a knee and say a prayer.
With the win Corner Canyon improves to 8-0 on the year and will finish off the regular season next Friday with a game versus Jordan. Alta falls to 4-4 on the year and will try and rebound with a game at Brighton next week, which will be for the final Region 7 playoff spot.
As for Wilson, Kjar stated his starting quarterback is week-to-week with a shoulder injury.