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High school football: Timpview picks up statement win over Lone Peak in opener

SHARE High school football: Timpview picks up statement win over Lone Peak in opener

Box score

The Timpview Thunderbirds and Lone Peak Knights got their 2022 football seasons underway Friday night in a lopsided game that saw the Thunderbirds defeat the Knights 31-10.

It marked the fourth consecutive year that the two schools met to open the season, and Friday’s result gave Timpview its first win in those games. This year, the contest was played at Provo High School to accommodate the Thunderbirds, whose football field remains under construction.

Lone Peak could not stop the Timpview run game headed by senior running back Micah Beckstead and his two touchdowns. Both of his scores came in the first half, as he led his team to a 21-0 lead at the break.

“Micah is Micah. He can do his thing,” first year Timpview head coach Donny Atuaia said. “But if we can get our front guys working together, it’s going to do some damage this year. So we’re excited just to see and hopefully we improve off of tonight.”

Atuaia was not the only one to take note of Beckstead’s impressive night.

“Micah is the best running back in Utah,” teammate Pokai Haunga said. “He just loves to run. … (He’s the) best running back in the state.”

Haunga, who is committed to play at BYU, had a special night as well on both sides of the ball. The senior athlete scored the Thunderbirds’ first touchdown on a 37-yard, 50-50 ball thrown to the end zone, and on the defensive side of the ball, he tallied an interception and a sack.

“He is a lethal weapon for us,” Atuaia said of Haunga. “For us as coaches, we’re going to see situation stuff and know how to use him.”

The fourth quarter saw other Thunderbirds get in on the action as they tacked on 10 more points, with a 23-yard field goal off the foot of senior kicker Jacob Larsen and an 8-yard

rushing touchdown from senior running back Kerven Tua’one.

The Timpview defense held Lone Peak to just three points until the final minute of the game, when senior Knight Mahkyi Smith punched the ball in from the goal line with just 31 seconds remaining.

Lone Peak’s only other score came on a 50-yard field goal from senior kicker Ian Sanches in the third quarter, which made the score 21-3.

“This is the one thing we were focusing on,” Beckstead said of Friday’s game. “We really wanted to beat Lone Peak no matter what, so it really means a lot to us that we finally got to do it, especially in that fashion.”

The defending 2021 6A state champions never had an answer for a motivated Thunderbird squad that had not beaten the Knights since 2014. That year, Timpview went on to win the 4A state championship with a perfect 14-0 record.

If Atuaia’s team continues to play like it did on Friday, it could have a special year in 2022.

“We’ve got good leadership,” he said. “We’re senior heavy and those seniors are really stepping up.”

The first-year head coach is excited for his team but is focused on improving in the coming weeks.

“This is only week one,” he said. “We’ve played this game long enough to know that it’s only one game.”

Both teams play their second games of the season next Friday at 7 p.m. Lone Peak will travel out of state to play Bishop Alemany in California, and Timpview will again play out of its classification, this time on the road against Herriman from 6A’s Region 3.