Skyridge Falcons player Kyle Valdez (13) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Corner Canyon Chargers in the 6A football state championship game at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022. The Falcons won 17-7.
Ben B. Braun, Deseret News
Skyridge’s defense has played lights out all season, and on the biggest stage in Friday’s 6A state championship it enjoyed arguably its best performance in school history.
The top-ranked Falcons held Corner Canyon to one measly touchdown — the fewest points a coach Eric Kjar team has ever scored against a Utah team in 14 seasons — in a dominant performance at Rice-Eccles Stadium on its way to the 17-7 victory for its first state championship in school history.
“When you’re playing Corner Canyon, you don’t think 40 points is going to be enough,” joked Jon Lehman when asked if he thought 17 points would be enough to beat the Chargers.
It wasn’t earlier this season when Corner Canyon handed Skyridge its only loss of the season, 21-17. But on Friday it absolutely was, and clutch defense was the key.
Corner Canyon’s offense actually moved the ball relatively well, totaling 322 yards of offense, but it was abysmal on fourth-down attempts trying to extend drives. The final tally was 0 for 5.
“There was definitely a chip on our shoulder when they kept doing it,” said Skyridge cornerback Smith Snowden, whose been one of the leaders of the Falcons defense for the past three years.
“The whole team came out and wanted to battle, this is a really good Corner Canyon team,” said Snowden. “Coach Kjar’s the real deal and I think we just matched their energy, we matched their physicality and I think that’s the main reason we won this game.”
Both teams scored on their opening drive of the game, with McCae Hillstead hitting Kyle Valdez on a 32-yard TD pass for Skyridge, with Isaac Wilson answering for Corner Canyon on a 25-yard TD strike to Tate Kjar.
Incredibly, with 41:19 left to play in the game Corner Canyon’s explosive offense wouldn’t score again.
Source:: Deseret News – Sports News