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Corner Canyon falls short in shootout with Bishop Gorman

Corner Canyon went toe-to-toe for most of the night against one of the country’s top rated high school football programs Friday in Draper in a 63-42 loss to Bishop Gorman out of Nevada. 

In the Gaels’ first contest of the season, they took care of the Chargers with a potent offense that propelled it past one of Utah’s best high school football programs. 

“Our kids played really well and played hard,” Corner Canyon head coach Eric Kjar said before complimenting his offense — led by senior quarterback Isaac Wilson. “I thought Isaac played really good. I think some of our receivers played well.”

Wilson ended the game with six touchdowns — three rushing and three passing — giving his team everything he had. 

“Effort-wise, (our players) did a really good job,” Kjar said. “I don’t think any of our kids are lacking effort or making mistakes by not trying hard.”  

Corner Canyon and Bishop Gorman met in Nevada a season ago, with the Gaels earning a 35 point victory before ultimately going on to win their 12th state title since 2009. 

For a second year in a row, Corner Canyon got a taste of what Nevada schools have been dealing with for years now.

Bishop Gorman punted just one time on Friday, leaving the Chargers scratching their heads for answers as the visitors ran up their score.  

“They’re a great team,” Kjar said of the Gaels. “We knew that offensively they were going to be really tough. They returned a lot of people from last year … Their line’s just unreal up front. We knew that was going to be tough.”

But the Chargers played Bishop Gorman tough, taking a 28-21 lead into the halftime break on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to senior wide receiver Tate Kjar 15 seconds before the half expired.  

That was just one of the times coach Kjar’s son stood out Friday evening for the Chargers. When Corner Canyon needed a big play Tate Kjar was there. He kept several drives alive with third down receptions, making him a favorite target of Wilson’s throughout the contest. 

“He did a really good job,” Eric Kjar said of his son. “He had a big year last year, and we feel like he’s someone we can kind of lean on … Isaac leans on him a lot, too. I mean, it’s always great when you get to play with a good quarterback as a receiver.”

Despite the first half success, he second half saw Corner Canyon struggle to keep the offensive pace set by the Gaels, and Bishop Gorman regained the lead for good with under a minute to play in the third quarter.

Despite the loss, Corner Canyon showed it could compete with one of the nation’s best football teams. Though proud of his players, coach Kjar felt that his team had greater potential than it showed Friday. 

“I think we’re capable of more,” he said. 

That statement might leave other teams on the Chargers’ schedule uneasy, after the impressive performance the team put together Friday.  

Corner Canyon will face another formidable, but more familiar, foe when it welcomes former region rival Lone Peak to Draper next Friday.

The Chargers and Knights are scheduled to begin play at 7 p.m. Friday.

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