To beat a really good opponent, a high school football team needs to play a really good 48 minutes of football.
Pleasant Grove wasn’t able to do that Friday night at home against No. 1 Corner Canyon as the Chargers made all the plays early and cruised to the 47-14 win.
“What we’ll take from this is we will see how the kids rebound,” Viking head coach Mark Wootton said. “We’ll see how we come back. They are a great team that is very fast.”
The signs of how things were going to go came in the first drive for Pleasant Grove as the Vikings started with a false start, surrendered a sack and an incomplete pass.
After a punt, Corner Canyon needed four plays to get a 26-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cole Hagen to sophomore wide receiver Cody Hagen to take the 7-0 lead.
Things didn’t get better for Pleasant Grove as on its next possession a low snap on a punt attempt resulted in a safety, then Charger junior running back Austin Bell broke free up the middle for a 37-yard touchdown run.
After another Corner Canyon defensive stop, Cole Hagen again found Cody Hagen, this time for an 84-yard touchdown and the Chargers led 23-0 midway through the first quarter.
No coach wants to find themselves in that type of hole but Wootton said the message to his Vikings was to just ignore the scoreboard and keep playing.
“In the first half, we came back and competed hard,” Wootton said. “We told the kids before the game that the first five games were done and now we have to be better four weeks from now when we get to the state playoffs.”
After surrendering another score, Pleasant Grove did get a big-play touchdown of its own when senior receiver Kael Mikkelsen broke free and caught a pass from senior Caleb Campbell for an 80-yard score.
“Kael did a nice job,” Wootton said. “Caleb Campbell is undersized in there but he won’t stop battling. Once in a while you get to coach kids like that. He never stopped fighting.”
But Corner Canyon was just too much as the Chargers kept pulling away until they secured the victory.
“They are the best team in the state,” Wootton said. “We need to prepare our kids better and have them get better over the next few weeks.”
Corner Canyon (6-0, 1-0) next hosts Lone Peak in a battle of defending state champs (the Chargers won the 5A crown in 2018, while the Knights won the 6A title last year).
Pleasant Grove (5-1, 0-1) will look to bounce back from its first loss of the year as it next heads to Skyridge.
Both games are scheduled to be played on Friday starting at 7 p.m.