Sports / Prep / 

Sean Walker, KSL.com

6A championship: Behind prolific QB Jaxson Dart and dominant defense, Corner Canyon rolls to 3rd-straight title

By Sean Walker, KSL.com | Posted - Nov. 20, 2020 at 3:43 p.m.



EAGLE MOUNTAIN — All season long, Corner Canyon's offense has made some noise.

Led by prolific quarterback Jaxson Dart, the Chargers have averaged 47.8 points per game and have rolled past opponents by an average margin of victory of 31.3 points.

In Friday's Class 6A state title game, the Chargers made a statement: they can play defense, too.

Dart threw for four touchdowns and ran for another score as Corner Canyon blew past Region 4 rival Lone Peak, 45-7, to clinch the Chargers' 40th straight victory and third-straight state title Friday at Cedar Valley High School.

The Chargers (14-0) capped a third-consecutive title with their 50th win in the past 51 games.

But for Dart, a senior who transferred from Roy, Friday's title was a first.

"It's crazy," said Dart, who also threw five touchdown passes in a semifinal win over East. "This is a legacy, so they're used to winning. But coming in here, I was like, 'Shoot, I've got to keep this winning streak going and get a three-peat.'

"There are only so many people who get to experience this opportunity. I'm just grateful to be part of this program and carry on the streak."

He certainly did more than that.

With 4,362 passing yards and 67 touchdowns (with just four interceptions), Dart easily eclipsed former Lehi standout Cammon Cooper's state-record mark of 58 passing touchdowns in a season. Dart's 79 total touchdowns are the most since Logan's Riley Nelson posted a state-record 84 touchdowns in 2005.

"It's incredible," said Oregon commit Jackson Light, a top center nationally who has blocked every game for Dart. "It's other things like winning that we really focus on. But I think it shows how good J-Dart is as a quarterback and as a person. He works his butt off each day, and I'm humbled to block for him. I'm so happy that he's come into our lives."

Yet somehow, none of those things mattered for Dart, by his own admission.

Winning did — and he told his teammates and new coach as much every day since he transferred to his new school in Draper before this summer.

"He's had a crazy year," Corner Canyon coach Eric Kjar said. "His numbers are unreal. The way he plays, the way he throws it; I get surprised when he throws any incompletion.

"He had to learn the offense really fast, and being around him as little as I had, I got pretty close to him. Seeing him win a state championship is the biggest thing for him. The numbers are great, but winning that championship is huge."

The four-star quarterback prospect with offers from USC, UCLA, TCU and BYU, among others, threw for 252 yards and two touchdowns with one interception in the first half, when he also darted off for a 17-yard touchdown in the middle of a 21-0 first quarter.

Dart, who had already thrown for a state-record 63 touchdowns prior to Friday's championship, opened the game directing a nine-play, 77-yard drive over seven minutes to take a 7-0 lead on an 8-yard strike to Noah Kjar. He added a 15-yarder to Talmage Handley in the second quarter, and Dylan Carlson also scored on a 1-yard run set up by Dart's pass to Cody Hagen for 19 yards, as well.

And if you ask Dart, it's the supporting cast around him — beginning with Light and the offensive line and extending to receivers like Hagen, Kjar and Handley — that sets up his success.

"I think we are the best offense this state's ever seen," Dart said. "And coach Kjar, I think he's the best quarterback coach in the state. He puts us in the best situations, and we have the dudes to make special things happen."

But the Chargers' defense was just as impressive, paced by Jackson Rasmussen's fumble recovery to set up the third score — when Corner Canyon's 21-0 lead was punctuated by holding the Knights to -22 yards to that point.

Lone Peak (12-2), which finally got on the board through Luke Romney's 5-yard touchdown to Weston Covey with just under six minutes remaining, were held to 46 yards of total offense in the first half, which ended offensively for the Knights on Charlie Ebeling's interception that set up Cody Christensen's 24-yard field goal.

"They're a hell of a team; we've been watching them since we had a rough game the first time," said Light, who also plays nose tackle on a team that rallied from 13-0 down to edge the Knights by 10 during the regular season. "Our mentality was, we have a great offense but we can have an even better defense."

A "great team" — but Corner Canyon proved Friday to have surpassed "great."

The Chargers were on another level in 2020.

"We have a great foundation, and the kids buy into it," Dart said. "We have so much trust in them. We know if we do our jobs, they'll put us in the best situation to succeed."

Scoring summary

First quarter

7:14 — CC: Noah Kjar, 9-yard pass from Jaxson Dart (Christensen kick)

3:36 — CC: Dart 17-yard run (Christensen kick)

1:46 — CC: Dylan Carlson 1-yard run (Christensen kick)

Second quarter

3:14 — CC: Talmage Handley, 15-yard pass from Dart (Christensen kick)

0:00 — CC: Cody Christensen, 24-yard field goal

Halftime — Corner Canyon 31, Lone Peak 0

Third quarter

6:45 CC: Jett Meine, 11-yard pass from Dart (Christensen kick)

3:39 — CC: Cody Hagen, 18-yard pass from Dart (Christensen kick)

Fourth quarter

5:59 — LP: Weston Covey, 5-yard pass from Luke Romney (Miller kick)

Final — Corner Canyon 45, Lone Peak 7

Sean Walker

SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

Catch up on the top news and feaures from KSL.com, sent weekly.

KSL Weather Forecast