Anyone involved with Nook Canyon’s soccer program naturally may have frightened Friday night when Skyridge decrease into the Chargers’ 17-point lead and threatened to achieve as soon as extra as a result of the fourth quarter began.
Not junior quarterback Cole Hagen, watching that sequence from the sideline. “We now have quite a few confidence in our safety,” he talked about. “They’ve carried out good all 12 months.”
Hagen’s notion was validated when Andrew McDonald knocked away Skyridge’s fourth-down go finally zone. The Chargers then drove the scale of the sphere and pulled away to a 31-14 victory throughout the Class 5A championship sport at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
The once more story that Hagen dismissed was how Nook Canyon (12-Zero) misplaced the 19-point lead that current BYU quarterback Zach Wilson helped assemble in a semifinal sport ultimate November. Skyridge (11-2) rallied for a 34-33 win behind quarterback Jayden Clemons that day, nonetheless such historic previous didn’t faze the Chargers.
“We merely knew we wished to answer, and try to be aggressive,” coach Eric Kjar talked about.
That’s the place Hagen and his receivers re-entered the picture. After the fourth-down stop, the Chargers marched 98 yards, ending with Hagen’s fourth touchdown go. Sophomore receiver Noah Kjar’s second TD catch was the clincher, making a type of fundamental father-son moments.
“Couldn’t be further proud of him,” Eric Kjar talked about, his voice catching as he stood on the sphere afterward.
“It’s the simplest feeling,” Noah Kjar talked about. “I’ve seen him work exhausting at it since I was barely little one.”
To extend Nook Canyon’s family theme, Wilson’s brother Josh was amongst this 12 months’s defensive stars. The junior linebacker led the Chargers with 10 tackles Friday. McDonald made an interception on the target line late throughout the first half, Austin Bell contributed 10 tackles, Maximus Swensen recovered a fumble and Van Fillinger notched a fourth-down sack.
The Draper school’s victory prevented a Utah County sweep of the 4A, 5A and 6A titles. Nook Canyon’s players wore “PHS” stickers on their helmets in a tribute to the Paradise (Calif.) Extreme School group. In a neighborhood devastated by wildfires, Paradise Extreme wanted to forfeit its spot throughout the state playoffs, and Nook Canyon wished to honor these players.
The Chargers’ all-around effectivity was spectacular. Eric Kjar credited defensive coordinator Casey Sutera for a scheme that held Skyridge’s prolific offense to 300 yards and 14 components. That shocked quite a few observers, after the Falcons averaged 42 components this season, nonetheless Kjar claimed to have seen it coming. “Our safety kicked our butts in observe each single day,” he talked about.
Nook Canyon’s safety emerged at merely the correct events Friday. McDonald’s interception on the target line throughout the ultimate minute preserved Nook Canyon’s 10-7 halftime lead, after Swenson’s fumble restoration led to Hagen’s first TD go.
John Mitchell’s 25-yard reception early throughout the third quarter pushed Nook Canyon’s end in 17-7, then Skyridge’s fourth-down failure organize Hagen’s TD go to Bell.
The Falcons weren’t accomplished, though. Ma’a Natoa’s 2-yard run touchdown run made it 24-14 entering into the final word interval. Clemons drove his group into scoring place as soon as extra, solely to be turned away by McDonald and the Chargers’ run-stoppers.
Storylines• Cole Hagen throws four touchdown passes as Nook Canyon beats Skyridge 31-14 for the Class 5A state championship.• The Chargers avenge a semifinal loss to Skyridge in 2017, after they misplaced a 19-point lead.• Nook Canyon, of Draper, prevents Utah County schools from sweeping the 4A, 5A and 6A title video video games.