Estimated read time: 7-8 minutes
DRAPER — Zack Franckowiak knew he only had 48 more minutes of high school lacrosse to play on his home turf, a state final appearance against a Park City team that had yet to lose to an opponent from Utah.
He didn’t waste a second — and saved the best for last.
Franckowiak had three goals and an assist to lead the host Chargers to the Utah High School Lacrosse League Class A state championship Saturday night with a 9-8 win over Park City.
“I guess I was just leaving it all on the field,” a rain-soaked Franckowiak said after receiving Player of the Game honors. “I’m a senior,and this was my last game. I wanted to leave it all out there. I knew our team was working hard all year, so why not put it all out there for the last game?”
Matt Graney added two goals for Corner Canyon (18-1), which also got a goal each from Max Franckowiak, Davis Zwicky, Jason Adams and Cole Parkinson.
Chad Merrick led Park City (18-2) with three goals, and JJ Pickard added two goals for the Miners.
But Zack Franckowiak was an instant highlight reel of the evening, including on the Chargers’ final two scores of the game. Franckowiak shimmied through three defenders and tossed an acrobatic goal into the back of the net off a dodge to give Corner Canyon an 8-6 lead with 11:04 left in the fourth quarter, then added the game-winner on an end-to-end sprint with 1:21 remaining as the Chargers held on to give Park City its first loss to a Utah opponent.
Franckowiak and the 12 other Corner Canyon seniors were playing in their third state final, dating back to their freshman year. The group also faced Park City earlier in the 2015 season, a Charger loss on the Miners’ home turf.
At Corner Canyon High School
8:37 — CC: Matt Graney (Zack Franckowiak)
7:24 — CC: Max Franckowiak
2:57 — PC: Kolton Atkinson
0:38 — PC: Own goal
0:04 — PC: Chad Merrick
9:19 — CC: Davis Zwicky
8:22 — CC: Jason Adams
7:39 — PC: JJ Pickardv
5:04 — CC: Cole Parkinson
1:15 — CC: Zack Franckowiak
8:39 — PC: Chase Christensen
6:24 — PC: JJ Pickard
0:45 — CC: Matt Graney
11:04 — CC: Zack Franckowiak
2:12 — PC: Chad Merrick
3:29 — CC: Zack Franckowiak
0:24 — PC: Chad Merrick
Final: Corner Canyon 9, Park City 8
Breaking through, then, was a big deal.
“The feeling of being at the point where we know we are so close, but weren’t there, we talked in the locker room about it,” he said. “We really had nothing to lose, and wanted to leave it all out there for the last game of the year.”
Chad Merrick scored his team-high third goal from the edge of the crease with 2:12 on the clock to bring the Miners within a goal, 8-7. After Park City called its final timeout, the Miners got an open look in front of the crease that Corner Canyon goalkeeper Quentin Mathie saved, then turned around to set up Franckowiak’s fast break.
“The third time’s the charm, and it’s unbelievable. I am so proud of what those boys did,” Corner Canyon coach Mark Davis said. “They put their heart and soul for the past three and a half months into this. It hasn’t been easy, even today. It was a great game, and they put their heart and soul and left it on this field.”
Park City won the first four faceoffs, but Graney scored the first goal of the game off a dish from Franckowiak with 8:37 left in the first quarter. Franckowiak’s brother Max then added a goal off a nifty dodge from behind the net just over a minute later.
But the Miners came back and scored three straight goals following Kolton Atkinson’s goal in the 10th minute and capped it with Chad Merrick’s slicer with four seconds left to put Park City on top 3-2 after the first quarter.
If the Chargers were having flashbacks to their only loss of the year, they barely showed it — and Davis didn’t even need a timeout to help his senior-laden team regain its composure.
“We learned a lot (from the loss),” Davis said. “We hit a lot of pipes, we let the refs get to us, but most importantly we learned how to control ourselves and the mindset of the game. They had that bitter taste of defeat, and I’m glad we had it this season. I think that really helped us the rest of the season, to know that anything could happen at any time. They came hungry.
“They wanted it.”
Davis Zwicky came off the bench for Corner Canyon in the second quarter to spur the Chargers. His goal 9:19 before halftime spurred the Chargers on a 4-1 run, capped by Zack Franckowiak’s chaotic finish in front of goal that gave Corner Canyon a 6-4 lead at the half.
Park City started the second half on a 2-0 run, beginning with Chase Christensen’s chip with 8:39 in the quarter. JJ Pickard added his second goal of the match just two minutes later, but Corner Canyon’s Matt Graney gave the hosts a 7-6 lead after three periods with a straight shot with 45 seconds left in the third.
“We knew we had to throw a wrinkle at Park City; they are a phenomenal team, and is probably the best coached team in the state,” Davis said. “It was phenomenal. But we simplified our offense and started to get them to really buy into what we were doing offensively; it was 90 yards of defense, and anything could happen.
“We had been here before … and we let them play. We have 13 seniors on the team, and they know how to play.”
Rutgers commit Zack Franckowiak, who originally committed to Drexel before three of his friends received offers from the Scarlet Knights, put Corner Canyon over the top, though.
“He’s a phenomenal player. His quickness, his shiftiness; everything about him is light’s out,” Davis said. “I wish him all the luck in the world going forward. I’m going to miss that kid dearly.”
Along with his teammates and a throng of classmates from the Corner Canyon student section that rushed the field following the win, Franckowiak was grateful to be able to experience one final game — a championship — and surrounded by family.
In fact, it was younger brother Max’s goal that showed his emotion after the match.
“It was awesome to see, and to play with my brother,” Zack Franckowiak said. “This could be one of our last times, so I’m glad he could get that (goal).”
LOGAN 10, COPPER HILLS 7 — At Corner Canyon, Jordan Hansen had three goals and an assist, and Brandon Dodd scored three-straight goals bridging the first and second quarters, as Logan (11-4) took a 7-3 lead into halftime and held off Copper Hills (12-5) in the Class B title game.
Copper Hills’ Tanner Skadburg opened the scoring with 11:27 remaining in the first quarter, but Logan came back to tie with a goal by Kian Ben-Jacob with 5:57 remaining in the period. Dodd took over with three goals, then added a fourth goal in the half to put Logan up 6-1 with 5:29 remaining in the half.
Leroy Sandberg scored two goals on back-to-back possessions for Copper Hills to end the first half, including a spectacular goal off a midair grab with 2.5 seconds remaining.
Copper Hills’ defense held Logan without a goal for the third quarter, but could only capitalize once on offense in Zach Geigle’s goal with 8:10 left in the quarter to pull within three, 7-4.
Jordan Hansen scored two fourth-quarter goals for Logan to help the Cache Valley team keep its lead. But Copper Hills’ Keaton Stephens scored twice in the fourth to pull his Grizzlies within two, 9-7 with 5:39 left in the match, before Hansen’s goals with 26 seconds on the clock iced the win for Logan.
Ben-Jacob finished with two goals and an assist for Logan, and teammate Rio Thomas added a goal.
Casey HolBrook also had a goal for Copper Hills.
BOUNTIFUL 10, BOX ELDER 6 — At Corner Canyon, Jeff Pattison scored two of his three goals in the first half as Bountiful (3-13) took a 5-1 lead after one quarter and rolled by Box Elder in the Class C boys title game.
Zac Jones also scored three goals for the Braves, who got a goal each from Jacob McCann, Jacob Walker and Brandon Bott.
Blake Chase led the Bees (4-10) with three goals, and Zachary Bolton added two scores and Isaac Houghtalen one for Box Elder.