SALT LAKE CITY — Not once last week did Timpview coach Andy Stokes talk about the Provo rivalry with his players in the lead up to Friday’s game.
After two straight losses to open the season, which included giving up 58 points to American Fork the week before, the last thing his young football team needed was outside distraction.
“For us, it’s X’s and O’s and just trying to be a better team than last week,” said Stokes.
That approach helped Timpview edge Provo 13-7 in a surprisingly defensive slugfest on Friday, the 30th straight year Timpview has beat Provo on the gridiron.
To go from losing to American Fork 58-35 to beating Provo 13-7 in a span of one week shows the growth that Stokes expects out of his team all season.
“What everybody has to understand about this group is we’re so young. We started 11 kids on offense (tonight) that didn’t start last year, and then defensively there’s seven new kids starting,” said Stokes. “They’re talented, but when things go wrong sometimes it’s hard to overcome that when you’re young and you don’t have experience.”
Those players gained valuable experience on Friday, especially after forcing Provo into a turnover on downs with under two minutes remaining. The Bulldogs got a glimmer of hope when Timpview missed a 40-yard field goal that could’ve iced the game, but they never got a first down as the T-Birds celebrated the win. (Box score)
Twenty minutes down the road in Utah County, the Springville Red Devils did put one of those game-winning drives together.
Quarterback Payton Murphy connected with Austin Mortensen on a 7-yard touchdown pass with four seconds remaining as the Red Devils broke a late tie with Bountiful to claim the 20-14 win. (Box score)
It was Mortensen’s third touchdown of the game, which included a pick-six early in the fourth quarter to give Springville the 14-0 lead.
Bountiful fought back and tied the game with two touchdowns over a three-minute stretch, but it left too much time on the clock for Springville to march down field one more time.
“Our defense kept us in the game all night and made some big plays, especially the pick-six by Austin Mortensen. Bountiful played physical and would not give in. Payton Murphy was able to make enough plays getting the ball to Austin to get us the win,” said Springville coach Willy Child.
With the win, Springville improved to 3-0 this season, one of six undefeated teams remaining in 5A.
It’s an interesting collection of undefeated teams, as only one of the six even had a winning record last year: Highland. The other five were all at .500 or worse last season: Farmington, Woods Cross, Murray, Salem Hills and Springville.
Woods Cross improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2014 with a strong 24-16 road win at previously undefeated Brighton. Coach Andrew Fresques told the Deseret News after Friday’s win that the win changes things a bit for his team with region two weeks away: “We’re not going to sneak up on anyone anymore.”
Woods Cross quarterback Carter Weierman threw two touchdowns in the win, including a 48-yarder to Luke Hyde that stretched the lead to 8 points late in the third quarter.
Second-year Farmington dominated previously unbeaten Ridgeline 35-0 to stay perfect, while Salem Hills also recorded a shutout to remain undefeated. (Box score)
The Skyhawks methodically pulled away from Juab throughout the game for a 24-0 win. Coach Harry Schwenke praised his defense for another very strong performance heading into region play next week. (Box score)
“It’s tough to play a team like Juab that just keeps coming without quit. Our defensive line is our strength with their physical play. We’ve got some special guys that love to fly around and make plays. Tonight we had too many penalties and missed opportunities, and we’ll have to clean it up this week,” said Schwenke.
The other two remaining unbeatens won easily, with Highland cruising 55-19 over Granger and Murray dominating first-year school Cedar Valley 49-21.
Neither Box Elder nor Wasatch stayed perfect with wins on Friday night, but both had huge wins to improve to 2-1.
Box Elder scored the final two touchdowns of the game to rally past nemesis Mountain Crest for the 21-15 win. It was the first win at Mountain Crest for Box Elder since 2006. (Box score)
“We were stuffed and couldn’t run the ball and our passing game was big for us tonight. Our QB Parker Buchanan and tight end Logan Holgate made some big time plays,” said Box Elder coach Robbie Gunther.
The two combined for a pair of touchdowns, including the go-ahead 23-yard connection with 8:35 left in the game.
BE 21 - MC 15 pic.twitter.com/uYNg49GKqx— Box Elder High School Admin (@boxelderhs_adm) August 31, 2019
Wasatch beat visiting Viewmont 30-17, aided by a pair of defensive touchdowns. Scott Gabler scored on a 39-yard interception return in the first quarter and then Enrique Ferreyra put the game out of reach with a scoop and score with 5:50 left in the game. (Box score)
“Tonight was a big program win for Wasatch HS over a playoff caliber team like Viewmont. I am pleased with the continued development of the team, with two defensive touchdowns and a strong rushing attack leading the way to the first home game victory,” said Wasatch coach Steve Coburn, whose team also beat Mountain Crest in Week 2.
Wasatch hasn’t won a playoff game since 2010 but wins like Fridays could go a long way to change that trend.