Lehi QB Cammon Cooper caps stellar prep career by guiding Pioneers to state championship

(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Members of the Lehi football team celebrate after winning the Class 5A state title game at Rice-Eccles Stadium Friday, November 17, 2017. Lehi defeated Skyridge 55-17.

Lehi coach Ed Larson called a timeout with 33 seconds remaining Friday night. The state championship had been decided, but the Pioneers had one last play to run.

A quarterback salute.

Cammon Cooper received a standing ovation as he walked to the sideline having capped his career with seven total touchdowns in an emphatic 55-17 rout of crosstown rival Skyridge in the Class 5A state title game.

“It’s indescribable,” said the Washington State-bound senior who threw for five scores and ran for two more on a blustery night at Rice-Eccles Stadium. “You can’t really describe what’s going on right now. It’s huge.”

He threw for a modest 262 yards and misfired on his first five attempts of the night.

“Every ball I threw was really bad, but my receivers were making great catches,” he said.

But Lehi (12-2) capitalized on four Skyridge turnovers, including two on the Falcons’ first two possessions of the second half.

Lehi Pioneers, state champs.

It’s a statement that would have evoked a guttural laugh when they finished 0-10 in 2013, when Cooper threw seven passes as a freshman. More than 11,000 yards and a state-record 118 touchdowns later, Cooper and the Pioneers were hoisting a trophy at midfield.

“It’s awesome,” senior receiver Dallin Holker said. “We knew we could turn it around. We did it with our coaching staff and all our players behind us. We knew we could do it.”

Holker’s second touchdown of the game – a 20-yard reception little more than two minutes into the third quarter — made it 35-3 and marked the symbolic end for Skyridge (12-2).

Cooper threw for three scores and had a 44-yard touchdown run in the second half as the celebration reached its crescendo. It was a fitting end to a prolific career for Cooper, whose name appears seven times in the record books for season, career and championship game feats.

“There’s certain kids you look at and you go, ‘There’s Cinderella qualities to that guy.’ ” said Larson, who took over at Lehi after the winless 2013 season. “In my opinion, the greatest quarterback this state has ever seen.”

Skyridge was the fifth second-year program to reach the state title game but failed to be the first of that group to claim a crown. The Falcons offense managed just 222 total yards and an Alex Palmer touchdown in the final minutes.

Skyridge’s other score was a 91-yard kickoff return by Eli Pulu in the third quarter.

Lehi lit up the scoreboard with 27 points in the third quarter. Carsen Manookin sprinted 73 yards for a touchdown and, after Pulu’s return, Cooper ran untouched 44 yards up the left sideline for a touchdown.

LEHI 55, SKYRIDGE 17 <br>• Cammon Cooper ties a record with seven total touchdowns as the Pioneers win their third state title and first since 2000. <br>• Skyridge loses four fumbles, including two in the first two minutes of the second half, and never leads. <br>• Lehi goes from winless to state champs in a span of four seasons.