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Skyridge football makes too many mistakes, falls to Corner Canyon

By Jared Lloyd - | Sep 24, 2021
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Skyridge running back Jeter Fenton gets tackled by Corner Canyon defenders during the Region 4 game in Draper on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)
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Skyridge quarterback McCae Hillstead throws a pass during the Region 4 game against Corner Canyon in Draper on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)
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Skyridge running back Jeter Fenton gets tackled by Corner Canyon defenders during the Region 4 game in Draper on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)
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Skyridge quarterback McCae Hillstead runs the ball during the Region 4 game against Corner Canyon in Draper on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)
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Skyridge defenders attempt to make a tackle during the Region 4 game against Corner Canyon in Draper on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)
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A Skyridge receiver has the ball knocked away during the Region 4 game against Corner Canyon in Draper on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)
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Skyridge defensive back Smith Snowden (right) attempts to deflect a pass during the Region 4 game against Corner Canyon in Draper on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)
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Skyridge fans cheer on their Falcons during the Region 4 game against Corner Canyon in Draper on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)
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A Skyridge receiver just misses catching a long pass during the Region 4 game against Corner Canyon in Draper on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)
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Skyridge players celebrate recovering a fumble during the Region 4 game against Corner Canyon in Draper on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. (Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald)

One of the most accurate statistics to indicate what happened in a football game is points off of turnovers.

That stat certainly told the story of what happened in Friday night’s Region 4 battle in Draper between undefeated Skyridge and undefeated Corner Canyon — but only if you look beyond the traditional method of defining it.

The conventional method would say the Falcons outscored the Chargers in that metric, getting six points off of three takeaways to just three points off of one takeaway.

But when you add in turnovers on downs and missed field goals to the equation, it changes everything.

Corner Canyon scored four touchdowns after getting one of those two game-changing plays, while Skyridge didn’t get any additional points.

From that perspective, the Chargers had 31 points off of turnovers to just six for the Falcons. That was clearly a huge factor in how Corner Canyon got the 38-23 win.

“It was a great Region 4 battle,” Skyridge head coach Jon Lehman said. “I’m proud of the way we fought. We had some miscues and left some plays on the field, but we attacked and fought all game long.”

Two huge plays in the first half proved costly for the Falcon hopes of ending the 45-game Charger winning streak.

The first came after Skyridge senior kicker Joseph Brandt made a 54-yard field goal to give the Falcons a 10-7 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, Brandt got the ball high in the air and it came down fast, resulting in the Corner Canyon returner being unable to bring it in. It bounced away and Skyridge recovered on the Charger 14-yard line.

The Falcons got a pass interference penalty and a run to set up a first-and-goal from the 3-yard line. But a false start penalty pushed the Skyridge offense back and it never recovered.

The drive concluded with a missed field goal, which meant the Falcons weren’t able to get any points out of the golden opportunity.

Corner Canyon then turned that into its second long TD pass from senior quarterback Devin Brown to senior wide receiver Jett Meine, this one covering 68 yards as the Chargers got the lead for good.

It appeared it would likely be a 14-10 game at the break, but a miscommunication proved costly for Skyridge.

The Falcons faced a fourth-and-3 from their own 36-yard line and were looking to see if they could run the clock and maybe draw Corner Canyon offside before calling a timeout and punting.

But the signals got crossed and the ball was snapped, forcing Falcon junior quarterback McCae Hillstead to make a desperation heave that fell incomplete.

The Chargers quickly took advantage of the turnover on downs, needing just four plays to build their lead to 21-10 at the break.

“That was one of those plays you definitely would want to have back,” Lehman said. “Against a team like Corner Canyon, something like that can sink a team. I’m proud of the way we kept fighting. Our guys were resilient.”

Skyridge went for it on fourth-and-3 from the Corner Canyon 11-yard line early in the second half but again came up short — and again the Chargers marched back down the field to score.

Lehman said the Falcons wanted to be aggressive because they had a healthy respect for what Corner Canyon was capable of.

“I’m not concerned with whether we lose by one point or 15 points or 20 points,” Lehman said. “A loss is a loss. We wanted to win so we were going to try and go after it and make it happen.”

Skyridge made a few more big plays, including a 75-yard TD pass from Hillstead to senior Connor McAllister a 75-yard interception return for a touchdown by junior Smith Snowden and a successful onside kick.

That meant the Falcons were just close enough to be dangerous but were never able to quite get back in the game.

“We just can’t leave points on the field,” Lehman said. “When you have a game between two good teams, every play matters.”

He hopes his squad sees the opportunities to improve after the defeat and gets better moving forward.

“We have the regular season and the postseason,” Lehman said. “We’re still learning about this team, learning about what situations we execute well in. We’re learning about the fight we have and how tough we are.”

Skyridge (6-1, 1-1) faces another tough test when it hosts Lone Peak on Oct. 1 while Corner Canyon will play at Westlake the same evening.

Both games are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

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