Corner Canyon (Draper, Utah)
, the No. 13 team in the MaxPreps Top 25 high school football rankings, goes for a Utah state record 49th straight win Thursday at home against Lone Peak (Highland)
. Are the Chargers feeling the pressure or is the streak a source of pride?
Fifth-year head coach Eric Kjar laughed at the inquiry.
"It's definitely a good problem to have," Kjar said. "I think the boys have done a great job embracing the pressure because the pressure has been earned. Frankly, we really don't ever talk about it as a team. At the same point, it's obviously something that we all have in the back of our minds."
It's definitely at the forefront after tying the record of 48 by Duchesne last week in dominating fashion, 56-0 over Westlake.
The Chargers own the nation's second longest win streak
behind only Fyffe (Ala.) at 51 consecutive victories.
Corner Canyon's blowout win over Westlake was rather par for the course during the four-season stretch that began following a tough 34-33 state Class 5A semifinal loss to Skyridge in 2017.
The Chargers and their high-octane passing attack have won every game since by an average margin of 33.1 points per game, including 40.8 this season.
That isn't the only impressive stat during the Utah powerhouse's run of success:
* Total scoring: Corner Canyon 2,277, Opponents 675
* Shutouts: Six
* Allowed 7 points or less: 21
* Scored at least 50: 21
* Lowest winning score: 20-15 win over Olympus, Nov. 9, 2018
* Highest winning score: 72-21 over Farmington, Aug., 13, 2021
The team's last loss was quarterback Zach Wilson's last game. The current New York Jets starter was 18 of 37 for 351 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 68 rushing yards and a score.
The last two seasons of the streak have also featured high-profile quarterbacks, the 2020 MaxPreps Player of the Year Jaxson Dart
and current starter Devin Brown
. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound senior leads the nation with 2,894 passing yards and 32 touchdowns. He's also rushed for 234 yards and six scores.
A year ago, Dart was 240 of 345 (70 percent) for 4,691 yards and a state-record 67 touchdowns (just four interceptions) to go along with 1,195 rushing yards and 12 more scores. The current USC freshman led the Chargers to a 14-0 record and the No. 9 spot in the final MaxPreps Top 25.
Both Dart and Brown transferred to Corner Canyon for their senior years, mostly to work with Kjar, who is considered a guru at the position. Previously at Jordan, Kjar coached prolific quarterbacks Drew Lisk and Austin Kafentzis.
So how do his last three signal callers (Wilson, Dart and now Brown) at Corner Canyon compare?
"The comparison is always very tough because there are always differences," Kjar said. "But there are definitely some similarities. All three have incredible arm talent and are very accurate passers. All three have been a lot of fun to coach based on their personalities."
Brown, the nation's No. 8 rated senior quarterback recruit according to 247Sports, transferred from Queen Creek (Ariz.) after his junior season. He's following Dart's path to USC. Though his 10 interceptions are a little high, Brown has progressed very well according to Kjar.
He had quite a debut, going 18 for 22 for 459 yards and eight touchdowns in the season-opening win over Farmington.
"It's always tough to come into a new scheme and try and learn everything and then also fit our scheme to what he does very well," Kjar said. "There is definitely a transition period where we try to figure that out."
Like Brown, the rest of the Chargers had big shoes to fill from last season's title team, including Kjar's own son Noah Kjar, an All-American and state record receiver who is now at Weber State. All-American center Jackson Light also graduated and is now at Oregon.
This year, the receiving quartet of Cody Hagen
(52 catches, 1,055 yards, 10 touchdowns), Jett Meine
(44, 863, 12), Blaze DeGracie
(29, 616, 6) and Jon King
(13, 348, 4) have all averaged more than 20 yards per catch.
The defense, led by
, Micah Wilson
and Owen Borg
, has been extremely active with 29 sacks and 18 interceptions. Four players, led by Borg (four), have at least three interceptions.
"We had to replace some very talented players from last season but have been able to do so pretty effectively," Kjar said. "I'm most pleased with how well the kids have prepared. They show up ready to work hard and compete in every practice."
Kjar's squad will need to prepare sharply — on a short week — against a Lone Peak squad which has lost only to nationally-ranked Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), 35-7, and 7-1 Skyridge. The Knights (4-2) are ranked third in the state and lost four straight to Corner Canyon over the last two seasons, including 45-7 in the 6A state final in 2020. The Chargers also eliminated Lone Peak in 2019, 34-7 in the state semifinals.
The two regular season games both years were tight, with Corner Canyon prevailing 21-17 and 35-25.
Kjar said Thursday's game will come down to what it has since he took over the program in 2016 — preparation. He says the biggest factor in winning 48 straight is the offseason work the Chargers put in and how it continues throughout the season.
"We put a lot of time into strength, speed and playing multiple sports," Kjar said. "Our assistant coaches are very good at developing and teaching our players the game which has been huge in our progress as a program."