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Hawks – Chargers Rivalry Ends in Big Corner Canyon Win

Corner Canyon - Alta

It’s a unique rivalry that sprouts when a new school is built and a new team is formed. There is an unparalleled familiarity between players, fans, and even coaches. There are mixed feelings of brotherhood and competition. Old friendships are tested and sometimes pushed beyond their limits. All this exists in the Alta vs. Corner Canyon rivalry, but with the added element of excellence – Alta was a top-five team last season, and both teams are arguably top-five this season, which adds additional pressure to beat your old friends and teammates.  Corner Canyon was able to do just that on Friday night, using a big first quarter run to take control of the game and never looking back, securing the 17-8 victory.
“I knew it was gonna be an emotional game,” said Corner Canyon Head Coach Mark Davis, “I coached half those guys over there and these guys played with half those guys over there. We came ready to play and played extremely well.”
The rivalry action got under way in a hurry when, less than a minute into the contest, Corner Canyon’s Harry Waddoups drew the defense’s attention and found an open Chandler Stranc on the doorstep for the opening score. Alta looked to answer on the next possession when Joshua McNall got the ball in transition and pushed it forward to fellow attack Zach Pexton who put the ball past the Charger keeper. The Hawks had little time to celebrate, however, as the Charger’s Zack Franckowiak popped the next faceoff forward and took it all the way to the cage to give Corner Canyon the edge and set off a five-goal run that saw Cole Parkinson ride hard and score two in a row, Casey catch and finish off a faceoff fast break, and Waddoups send a bullet from the wing. With under two minutes left, Alta bared their teeth and punched back; Connor Pyle let loose a hard rip that hit the Charger keeper, but had enough momentum on it to trickle into the cage.  Then, an illegal body check would give the ball back to the Hawks who were able to score with just two seconds left on the clock when McNall’s pass found an open Tanner Jones right in front of the goal for an easy score, Corner Canyon up 6-3 at the break.
Corner Canyon - Alta
The intense pace of the rivalry kept up in the second quarter and Alta’s Pyle netted a quick one off a man-up rip from the wing, pulling the Hawks within two.  But another five-goal run from the Chargers would quickly dampen the Hawk’s hopes for the ‘W.’ Attackman Max Asay scored when he cut, caught, and put it past the keeper, Casey Rose grabbed another goal with a step-down rip assisted by Waddoups, Davis Zwicky shot a laser from the top of the box, Franckowiak spun on the wing crease and finished on the doorstep, and Waddoups caught and finished on the crease to put the Chargers up big. Alta finally grabbed a possession and got a good look on the cage, but Charger goalie Kade Arbon turned away the shot with a great save.  Corner Canyon’s suffocating ride made it difficult for the Hawks to maintain possession, even after some great saves from their own Dakota Crimson. Finally, Chase Oviatt stepped in and got one for the Hawks, but it was again answered by the Chargers when Rose took several big hits from former teammates but didn’t stop until he had buried a low-to-high shot in the back of the net.  The Hawks scored one more before the half to make things more respectable, and a conduct foul on the Chargers would give Alta the ball to start the third, but they found themselves in a 12-6 hole that would not be easy to climb out of.
Things slowed considerably in the second half.  Alta ate up large chunks of time with a couple long possessions and lots of shots, but most were wide of the cage.  Things also got more physical in the second half and a crosscheck gave the Hawks the opportunity they needed to score, Tanner Jones cutting to crease for the easy layup.  But Alta returned the favor with a slash and illegal body check, handing the momentum right back to the Chargers who scored off two high-heat shots from Waddoups and Rose to end the quarter up 14-7.
The fourth quarter started with another Corner Canyon goal that seemed to take the wind out of Alta’s sails.  Even a two-minute Charger penalty didn’t yield any goals for the deflated Hawks. Another two Charger goals gave Corner Canyon a commanding lead and a final Hawk goal on a Jones drive from X and roll to score was shrugged off by the Chargers as an afterthought.
“They never looked back,” said Davis of his players, “We play as a team. We played four quarters.”
Alta will have some time to lick their wounds before they host Bountiful in a vital contest for what could be the No. 3 seed in the UHSLL playoffs on Tuesday, April 22, at 7:30 pm.  Corner Canyon will be taking an East Coast trip next week where they will take on The Heights (MD), Good Counsel (DC), and Chestnut Hill Academy (PA).
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