Box Score

Timpview coach Andy Stokes indicated that the build-up to Thursday’s game against nemesis Orem was pretty much business as usual, with the same focused preparation he always gets from his team.

The celebration afterward was a clear indicator that it wasn’t just another a game.

Timpview’s dominant 43-13 victory over Orem was sweet redemption for the T-Birds after losing to the Tigers in the past two 5A state championship games.

Thursday’s win didn’t erase those losses, but it certainly sent a statement to Orem and the rest of 5A about who the team to beat in 2021 is.

“Obviously this is a significant win for our team just because we feel like Orem is one of the top 5A teams. We have a lot of respect for them,” said Stokes, who talked with the media after the game while his players danced euphorically behind him.

In each of Timpview’s playoff losses to Orem the past two years, it was certainly competitive but simply didn’t have enough horses to compete against a loaded Tigers roster. This season the roles seem to have reversed.

Thursday’s game was close early, with Timpview only leading 14-6 at the half, but the complexity flipped dramatically in the third quarter with the T-Birds’ offense and defense each scoring twice as the grudge match quickly flipped to a game that ended with a mercy rule running clock.

Stokes said the outcome shouldn’t be that surprising.

“This group didn’t just appear out of nowhere. They’ve been working their tail off for four years to turn into the monster that we are. All their work over the last four years is starting to show up on the field,” said Stokes.

The biggest monster against Orem was junior running back Micah Beckstead.

Beckstead’s role in the offense has increased over the past month, but Thursday he had a breakout performance as he scored the T-Birds’ first four touchdowns — three rushing, one receiving.

The first two gave Timpview the 14-6 halftime lead, and then in the third quarter, he scored on an 8-yard TD pass from Liu Aumavae and then a 57-yard TD run, pushing the lead to 29-6.

Beckstead said the focus throughout the week, and then during the game, played a big role in Timpview pulling away.

“We knew that they lost to Alta last week but we knew they were going to come with a different mindset this week, and we stayed locked in the whole week,” said Beckstead.

In a blink, Timpview’s three-touchdown lead swelled to five.

Just 16 seconds after Beckstead’s fourth touchdown stretched the lead to 29-6, teammate Will Lohner returned an interception 25 yards for another score and the 36-6 lead.

The defense wasn’t done yet either. Just a few plays later, Timpview’s defense got pressure on Orem’s quarterback and forced a fumble, which Puna Alatina scooped up and scored from 18 yards out.

In a span of 39 seconds Timpview scored 22 points, and in that short span might’ve ended the discussion about Orem’s chances of winning a fifth straight state championship.

That’s actually the last thing on Stokes’ mind as he gears up for a tough Week 9 game against Lehi next week.

“We’ll challenge everybody right now to find one thing that you didn’t do very well tonight and be better at that next week, and if we continue to do that until November, we’ll be in a good spot,” said Stokes.

The biggest thing Timpview will need to work on is starting quicker. Orem scored first on a Mack Hixson 3-yard TD pass from Lance Reynolds at the 8:58 mark of the second quarter, and Timpview didn’t respond with its first points of the game until 2:59 before halftime.

Beckstead found the end zone three more times in what ended up being a blowout, but he said the first-half complacency will help the team stay dialed in despite the big, big victory.

“A lot of mistakes made in the first half,” he said, “so we just need to stay locked in and work on the things that we struggled on so that we’re perfected for next week.”