SALT LAKE CITY — The playoffs can bring the jitters and sloppiness to even the best football team, but don't say that to Timpview. The seventh-seeded Thunderbirds came into this game supposedly evenly matched with sixth-seeded Highland, but the game was never really close.
Timpview shocked the Rams at the opening kickoff by recovering an onside kick a la the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV. They then immediately marched down the field behind strong downhill running from running back Ammon Ah Quin and quarterback Sione Moa. Moa pounded in the first score, and a fumble recovery by Timpview led to a quick score by Ah Quin.
A touchdown pass from Moa to Raider Damuni put the Thunderbirds up 21-0 before the end of the first quarter, and there was no turning back, as Timpview won 35-10
"Our coaches were motivating us, we had a speech (Thursday) night, and coming off the loss against Jordan we really wanted to change things up, so we came out firing" Damuni said regarding his team's quick start to the game.
"The kids came out and executed and did what we asked them to do," said Timpview head coach Andy Stokes. "I'm proud of the kids on both sides of the ball."
Moa kept the offense churning before exiting late in the game with an injury, but Damuni provided the daggers on both sides of the ball, recording an early touchdown reception and an interception on defense deep in their own territory.
"We knew what to expect this week and we practiced hard and had a good week of practice and the energy transferred to our game" said Damuni.
While they forced and recovered a few fumbles on defense, Highland was never able to get things rolling on the offensive side of the ball. A long run by Colton White got Highland into Timpview territory early in the game, but a big fourth down stop by Timpview set the tone for a stifling performance throughout all four quarters.
"Our defensive staff, Coach Ryan and those guys came up with a great game plan to stop that option offense and the kids bought in and did a phenomenal job" said Stokes.
Timpview looked prepared, well-practiced, and energized, and they expect a whole lot of the same going forward into the playoffs as they prepare for the winner of Roy and Maple Mountain's game next Saturday.
"Same thing," Damuni said regarding their plans to prepare for next week. "Have a good week of practice, that's the reason why I feel we did well this week. If we keep practicing hard, we're gonna keep going."
"We're just trying to get better at what we do, at this point that's all you can do, right?" said Coach Stokes.
Timpview remains in a still strong field in the 5A bracket, with top seeds Jordan and Skyridge set to play. Highland ends their season with an 8-3 record.