DRAPER — The undefeated Corner Canyon Chargers looked to complete a perfect regular season Wednesday night as they hosted the American Fork Cavemen in a high-profile 6A matchup. The end result was a win and the Region 4 title.
Fresh off an offer from USC, Chargers quarterback Jaxon Dart looked every bit the star he's been all season. Dart tossed six touchdowns and was also effective in the ground game where he was constantly scrambling for first downs. The senior quarterback led the Chargers offense to a 53-32 win over the visiting Cavemen.
"We executed really well tonight, and it was big for us to get a win going into the playoffs," Dart said.
The Chargers' stacked receiving corps was on display Wednesday night, with Noah Kjar hauling in three touchdown passes, and Jett Mein and Cody Hagen each pulling down a touchdown as well.
"The best part is the way he shows up and works day in and day out," Chargers head coach Eric Kjar said of his son Noah. "He is a tough critic on himself and he really works hard to get better at everything he does.”
Running back Dylan Carlson was another key weapon for the Chargers offense as he finished with two rushing touchdowns and a screen pass he took 48 yards to the house for another score.
The Chargers got off to a hot start to begin the night with a 19-3 lead with 10 minutes left in the second quarter. The rest of the quarter, however, belonged to the Cavemen as quarterback Maddux Madsen led his team on a long drive that cumulated in an 8-yard touchdown run by Madsen to make it an 8-point game.
The Chargers managed to get in the red zone on the ensuing drive but were stuffed on a fourth down scenario ahead of the halftime break. The turnover on downs shifted the momentum into American Fork's favor and kept it a one-possession game — all before the Cavemen got the ball back to start the second half.
But that momentum quickly faded as disaster struck to start the second half. Madsen threw an interception to Zach Hale on the first play out of the break to give the Chargers life again and a renewed energy, according to Eric Kjar.
"That pick was a huge momentum shift for us and I thought it really got our energy up to start the second half," Kjar said.
The pick was the beginning of the end as the Chargers outscored the Cavemen 34-21 in the second half to claim the Region 4 title — its fourth straight region title — and stay undefeated ahead of the state tournament.
"It’s a great region and I’m proud of the way our kids have battled to pull it off," Kjar said.
The undefeated season and the success Corner Canyon had all season is hard to envision had Dart not transferred from Roy High. Kjar said his star quarterback's development this season has been "awesome."
"It’s just crazy how he’s developed," Kjar said. "We knew pretty quickly he had a lot of arm talent; but to see what a great leader he’s become has been awesome to watch," Kjar said.
Dart, who started under the tutelage of Roy head coach Fred Fernandes, said both coaches were instrumental to his success.
"I feel grateful that I’ve been coached by two of the best coaches in the state in coach Fernandez and coach Kjar," Dart said. "They have put me in great positions to succeed, and I really think I wouldn’t be here without those two men.”
Corner Canyon earned a bye in the first round of the state tournament, but American Fork will find out who they play in the next few days.