High school football: Skyridge, Corner Canyon the favorites in Region 4

Skyridge quarterback McCae Hillstead tries to get a pass off under pressure from Lone Peak’s Saveaalii Malietoa Fitisemanu in a 6A football semifinal game at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Ladies and gentlemen, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, Region 4 football is here.

In this corner, entering the season as the defending 6A state champ, Lone Peak is loaded with athleticism but not lacking in question marks with one returning starter defensively. In another corner, a program hungry for the mountaintop after its four-peat hopes were dashed a year ago, Corner Canyon faces its own question marks with just one returning starter offensively. In another corner, by far the best team on paper with 10 defensive starters returning from last year’s dominant group, Skyridge is extremely eager to take the next step as a program. And in the final corner, a team hungry to prove it’s not the Region 4 afterthought, American Fork hopes it has enough experience offensively to compete with the big three and not get swept for a third straight season.

A year ago, the big three in Region 4 each suffered a region loss, but it was Lone Peak that flexed its muscles in the playoffs with convincing wins over Skyridge in the semifinals and then Corner Canyon in the championship.

For Skyridge, that loss was particularly tough to swallow after handing Lone Peak its only region loss five weeks earlier.

“Regardless of who we lose to in the playoffs there’s going to be an ultra sour taste, but when it’s a team you know you can beat and you have beaten in the last few weeks, it amplifies that a little bit,” said Skyridge coach Jon Lehman. “But we know when good teams play good teams there are a variable of outcomes and it’s going to be hard, so our guys know the challenge is tough and they have to bring it.”

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With 10 starters back defensively and then six more offensively, including QB McCae Hillstead who’s entering his third year as a starter, there’s been a confident swagger throughout Skyridge camp this summer.

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Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

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