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We just try to focus internally, not really thing about what’s expected or kind of what everybody else might think, or whoever makes some of the projections. —Corner Canyon head coach Eric Kjar

SALT LAKE CITY — Corner Canyon and Skyridge meet for the second time in history on Thursday to determine which will go to its first state title game.

Two games separate Corner Canyon from going undefeated and winning its first state championship, but the Chargers aren’t focused on their record. Rather, Corner Canyon will be taking it one week at a time, just like it has all season.

“We just try to focus internally, not really thing about what’s expected or kind of what everybody else might think, or whoever makes some of the projections. We just really try to focus on ourselves and what we can do to prepare ourselves to get ready week in and week out,” Corner Canyon head coach Eric Kjar said.

The Chargers take on Skyridge High School on Thursday. The two teams have met only once, in 2016, when Skyridge won by a field goal.

“We’ve been watching a lot of film, just a lot of the same things we do week-in, week-out, just trying to get to know their personnel and scheme-wise, what they like to do schematically and defensively, just coverages and blitzes and stunts. Offensively, same thing. What they like to run, personnel-wise, maybe some tendencies and things like that,” Kjar said.

Skyridge (11-1) vs. Corner Canyon (11-0)

5A state tournament semifinals

Thursday, 11 a.m. (at Rice-Eccles Stadium)

Watch the livestream here (+stats)

Parry’s Power Guide: Corner Canyon by 10

All-time series: Skyridge leads 1-0

Coach vs. coach: First meeting between Skyridge’s Jon Lehman and Corner Canyon’s Eric Kjar

Last meeting: Sept. 16, 2016 – Skyridge 31-28

Skyridge, which won its first playoff game in school history against Skyline two weeks ago, has learned some important lessons from its first playoff experience.

“For us, we’ve talked about, all the way through, for us to successful in the playoffs, we have got to be able to handle a little bit of an abnormal schedule. Instead of playing games at 7 p.m., playing games at 4 p.m., playing games at 5 p.m., playing games at 11 a.m. I think we learned about ourselves, that if we can stay focused when things are a little bit not normal, not the routine for us, that we have guys with good character, that are tough and focused and really care, and they’re going to put in the work to be really successful,” Skyridge head coach Jon Lehman said.

The two teams feature a pass-heavy attack, led by quarterbacks Zach Wilson of Corner Canyon and Jayden Clemons of Skyridge.

“A team like Corner Canyon has a number of really good players, but the starting point for Corner Canyon is obviously their quarterback. He’s got a lot of experience, he’s got some good tools, he throws the ball well, so any game plan has to start with ‘How do we defend him?’” Lehman said.

Wilson enters the matchup having thrown for 2,635 yards and 22 touchdowns, leading Corner Canyon’s 41.3 points per game offense, which ranks second in 5A. On the other side, Clemons has thrown for 1,811 yards and 27 touchdowns. The Falcons’ field general has led Skyridge to 40.6 points per game.

“It gives us confidence to know that the guy that’s taking the snap from the center is a guy that has a lot of experience. He’s started every game but one for us this year, he’s seen a lot of different scenarios in the game — from the basic situations, to end of game scenarios, different defenses — and the experience is really vital,” Lehman said.

What makes these two teams so good is that along with their powerful offenses, the Falcons and Chargers have two great defenses. Corner Canyon ranks first in 5A scoring defense, only allowing 10.4 points per game, while Skyridge ranks second, giving up just 13.4 points per game.


Skyridge statistical breakdown

Scoring offense: 40.6 ppg (3rd in 5A)

Scoring defense: 13.4 ppg (2nd in 5A)

Passing leader: Jayden Clemons (117-207, 57.5%, 1,811 yards, 27 TDs, 7 INTs)

Rushing leaders: Alex Palmer (47 carries, 764 yards, 7 TDs), Payton Ainsworth (130 carries, 693 yards, 3 TDs)

Receiving leaders: Colby Samuels (51 rec., 642 yards, 8 TDs), Nathan Upham (30 rec., 574 yards, 10 TDs)

Tackles leaders: Blayden Togiai (58 tackles), Klayton Driggs (28 tackles)

Sack leaders: Iohalani Raas (5 sacks), Blayden Togiai (5 sacks)

Interception leaders: Garrett Rusick (5 INTs)


Corner Canyon statistical breakdown

Scoring offense: 41.3 ppg (2nd in 5A)

Scoring defense: 10.4 ppg (1st in 5A)

Passing leader: Zach Wilson (152-260, 56.5%, 2,635 yards, 22 TDs, 7 INTs)

Rushing leaders: Zach Wilson (98 carries, 684 yards, 7 TDs), Tai Gonzales (137 carries, 637 yards, 14 TDs)

Receiving leaders: Colton Lawson (55 rec., 1,074 yards, 10 TDs), Noah Kjar (47 rec., 748 yards, 5 TDs)

Tackles leaders: Caden Johnson (85 tackles), Blake Emery (75 tackles), Conner Ebeling (68 tackles)

Sack leaders: Mikey Petty (7 sacks), Kennan Aiono (5 sacks), Kaden Martinsen (5 sacks)

Interception leaders: Blake Emery (3 INTs), Conner Ebeling (3 INTs), John Scheffner (3 INTs)


Felt’s Facts for Skyridge High School

Head Coach: 2016-current — Jon Lehman (17-6)

All-time record: 17-6 (2 years)

Region championships: 0

Playoff appearances: 1

Current playoff appearance streak: 1 (2017)

All-time playoff record: 2-0

State championships: 0

State championship record: 0-0


Felt’s Facts for Corner Canyon High School

Head Coach: 2017-current — Eric Kjar (11-0)

All-time record: 39-19 (5 years)

Region championships: 3 (2013 co, 2014, 2017)

Playoff appearances: 4

Current playoff appearance streak: 1 (2017)

All-time playoff record: 6-3

State championships: 0

State championship record: 0-0