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4A high school football preview: East-Timpview set to renew unique rivalry

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Timpview (9-2) at East (11-0)


4A state tournament quarterfinals

Friday 3 p.m.

Parry’s Power Guide: East by 21

All-time series: Series tied 5-5

Coach vs. coach: Timpview’s Cary Whittingham leads East’s Brandon Matich, 3-1

Last meeting: Nov. 20, 2015 — East 49-14, 4A state championship


One of the unlikeliest, yet also one of the best current rivalries in Utah high school football is ready for its latest installment this Friday in the 4A quarterfinals.

East and Timpview have never played in the regular season, but Friday’s game will be the 11th time the teams have met in the playoffs since 1995 — but crazier is it’s the sixth straight year they’ve faced off in the playoffs.

“We just can’t shake each other,” said East coach Brandon Matich.

The all-time series is 5-5, but current bragging rights belong to East after it snapped Timpview’s three-game winning streak with a convincing 49-14 victory in last year’s 4A championship.

Timpview had won the previous three 4A state titles, beating East each year along the way — including a narrow 33-28 win in the 2013 championship game.

“It’s crazy how the stars keeping aligning and putting East and Timpview together. If you look at the rest of the bracket and who’s matched up, it’s crazy an East-Timpview showdown this early is on its way,” Matich.

The early round matchup is the result of several hiccups this season by Timpview, which lost to Alta 32-24 and Corner Canyon 19-10.

The losses were part of a larger trend of inconsistency from the T-birds throughout the season. Timpview had a big halftime lead against Alta but squandered it and lost. Two weeks later it fell behind big to Orem only to rally for the victory.

In the regular season finale, Timpview jumped all over Skyridge in the first quarter to avoid the Region 7 tiebreaker mess. But, in last week’s first round win over Salem Hills, the T-birds got off to another slow start before pulling away for the easy win.

Timpview coach Cary Whittingham said how his team starts Friday’s game will be massive.

“It’s going to be the difference between winning and losing probably,” said Whittingham.

East is one of the most explosive offensive teams in recent memory led by fullback Jaylen Warren, and it has a habit of burying teams early. Just ask Skyline which trailed 70-14 at the half to East last week.

East averaged 48.6 ppg this season as its triple-option offense steamrolled everyone. Warren, the reigning Deseret News 4A MVP, has enjoyed a ton of success running behind a dominant offensive line as he leads the state with 2,426 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns.

He needs only 136 yards against Timpview to break the single-season rushing yards state record which has stood since 1979 when Beaver’s Kelly Smith rushed for 2,561 yards. Incredibly, Alta’s Josh Davis will likely break the record this week as well as the two chase history together.

Matich doesn’t expect things to come easily for Warren against Timpview’s stout defense, which allows just 14.4 ppg.

“Their defense is as good as they’ve ever been. They’ve got a lot of guys back from last year that give us problems and Cary always does a phenomenal job schematically against the triple,” said Matich. “They’ve always got something up their sleeve for us defensively and we usually have to adjust to it because they do such a good job.”

East’s offense isn’t as dynamic at quarterback as it was last year, but Sione Molisi is a complimentary wingback that prevents defenses from keying too heavily on Warren. Molisi has rushed for 796 yards and 10 TDs this season.

East’s offense has hogged the headlines this season, but its defense was just as dominant, allowing only 15.7 ppg.

Timpview’s inconsistent offense needs to be sharp early to try and keep pace with East’s explosive offense.

“We’re going to have to get some points because East is going to get theirs,” said Whittingham.


Timpview statistical breakdown


Scoring offense: 39.9 ppg (3rd in 4A)

Scoring defense: 14.4 ppg (1st in 4A)

Passing leader: Jordan Mariteragi (113-198, 57.1%, 1,820 yards, 21 TDs, 7 INTs)

Rushing leaders: Alema Te’o (184 carries, 979 yards, 10 TDs), Jake Biggs (46 carries, 316 yards, 6 TDs)

Receiving leaders: Kyle Van Leeuwen (42 rec., 903 yards, 16 TDs), Chaz Ah You (36 rec., 659 yards, 4 TDs)

Tackles leaders: Jackson Cravens (92 tackles), Karene Reid (54 tackles)

Sack leaders: Terrance Faumui, Jackson Cravens (6.5 sacks)

Interception leaders: Braxton Whitney (3 INTs)


East statistical breakdown


Scoring offense: 48.6 ppg (2nd in 4A)

Scoring defense: 15.7 ppg (4th in 4A)

Passing leader: Ben Ford (12-20, 60.0%, 352 yards, 4 TDs)

Rushing leaders: Jaylen Warren (190 carries, 2,426 yards, 28 TDs), Sione Molisi (74 carries, 796 yards, 10 TDs), Ben Ford (63 carries, 620 yards, 8 TDs)

Receiving leaders: Charlie Vincent (3 rec., 145 yards, 1 TD)

Tackles leaders: Sati Tuuhetaufa (89 tackles), Jordan Lolohea (57 tackles)

Sack leaders: Jordan Lolohea (19 sacks)

Interception leaders: Tyler Eteuati (5 INTs)


Felt's Facts for Timpview High School


All-time record: 328-113 (39 years)

Region championships: 19 (1977 co, 1986 co, 1991, 1992, 1993 co, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005 co, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015)

Playoff appearances: 36

Current playoff appearance streak: 27 (1990-2016)

All-time playoff record: 72-24

State championships: 11 (1986, 1991, 1997, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014)

State championship record: 11-2

Most played rivalry: 41 meetings with Provo dating back to 1977. Timpview leads 31-10.

Felt’s Factoid(s): Timpview owns the second-longest winning streak in state history at 36, dating from Sept. 15, 2006 to Nov. 21, 2008. ... The T-birds have the longest current winning streak, 26 games, since Sept. 6, 2013. That’s tied for the fifth longest streak all-time. … The Thunderbirds hold the record for total yards in a championship game, 611 in the 4A final in 2007. ... Timpview’s Andrew Badger holds the state record for yards gained per reception during a season with 35.8 in 2003. … The Timpview defense set a championship game record with eight sacks in 2012. … Jake Lloyd tied the state record for season TD passes (53, with Logan’s Riley Nelson), in 2012.


Felts Facts for East High School


All-time record: 563-351-31 (103 years)

Region championships: 35 (1917, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923 co, 1925 co, 1926, 1929 co, 1934, 1935, 1936 co, 1937 co, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1942, 1943, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1973, 1996, 2006 co, 2007 co, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016)

Playoff appearances: 44

Current playoff appearance streak: 7 (2010-2016)

All-time playoff record: 57-27-2

State championships: 16 (1917, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1925, 1926, 1943, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1964, 1974, 1996, 2015)

State championship record: 13-4-1

Most played rivalry: 111 meetings with West dating back to 1914. East leads 60-45-7. Last met in 2012.

Felt’s Factoid(s): East has the most consecutive non-losing seasons with 37, from 1932-1968. ... East also has the most state championships, 15, since state playoffs began in 1919. ... East is tied for the state record (with Skyline) for winning consecutive championship games, five (1919-23). … East scored a state-record 693 points during the 2013 season. The Leopards also returned seven interceptions for touchdowns that season, another state record…. East tied, with Riverton, the state single-game rushing yard record, 657, in 2013…. Leopard Gene Livingston has the longest-standing state records, all set in 1919: single-game rushing TDs and touchdowns scored (10) and single-game points (60). … Ula Tolutau ran for at least 100 yards 13 times in 2013, another state record for the Leopards.

Deseret News prep editor and Real Salt Lake beat writer. EMAIL: jedward@deseretnews.com