PROVO — For years Jordan High football was known for its offense, putting up video-game-like numbers to blast opponents. But things are changing — perhaps for the better — for the Beetdiggers under coach Kaleo Teriipaia, who is in his second year at the helm.
Serving as strong evidence for Teriipaia's defensive approach was Thursday's 18-7 win at Timpview, which saw the Beetdiggers set the tone and make big plays throughout to limit the Thunderbirds' offense.
"We wanted to send a message that Jordan is not just an offensive team anymore," Teriipaia said. "We're an all-around team. Jordan is known for defense now, not just for offense."
The defensive unit set the tone early snuffing out two Timpview fourth-down attempts in the first half.
The first came on a fourth-and-goal situation from Jordan's own 2-yard line, with the T-birds leading 7-6. The second came as the first half wore down, on a fourth-and-3 situation from Jordan's 45-yard line.
"That was big-time," Teriipaia said of the defensive stops. "We knew it was going to be a defensive and we had to produce or get out."
Of course it wasn't just the defense that produced Thursday. The offense, led by running back Jake Shaver, provided enough to keep the T-birds from playing behind throughout.
Shaver opened up the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter, but it was his 83-yard scamper into the end zone in the third quarter that really changed things while giving the Beetdiggers a 12-7 lead.
"That was big and Shaver has always been Mr. Consistent," Teriipaia said. "Shaver is our big-play guy. He's our workhorse and we count on him quite a bit."
Fittingly it was a defensive play that sealed things up, with Quinten Kafentzis picking off a pass with 3:04 remaining to snuff out any hopes Timpview had of a comeback.
"That's a kid who has had a lot of picks," Teriipaia said.
The win was a big one for Jordan, who moves into a first-place tie in Region 7 with Corner Canyon, with one week remaining in the season. But it was also big with regards to what Timpview is historically and this season.
"It's a big win," Teriipaia said. "I know a lot of the coaching staff here and a lot of the players. It's big for us. Our kids took it seriously and every practice this week was awesome."
The Beetdiggers will have to be at least as good as they were Thursday to get past next week's opponent, which happens to be No. 1-ranked Corner Canyon, in a game that will determine the Region 7 championship.
Jordan will host Corner Canyon Wednesday while Timpview looks to rebound against Cottonwood on the road.