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High school football: Timpview pulls away late to beat Olympus in 5A second round

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Box score

HOLLADAY — The first three quarters of the Timpview vs. Olympus football playoff game on Friday were a pretty boring appetizer to the craziness that ensued in the fourth quarter, with the Thunderbirds coming out on top 35-13.

Really, they didn’t even need the full fourth quarter, as 21 of Timpview’s final 28 points came in a span of just 66 seconds.

“We played a pretty bad first half, to be honest with you, and we challenged our team at halftime,” said Timpview coach Andy Stokes.

Stokes expected more physicality from his team that was only up 7-6 at halftime. The first half score developed after Timpview’s Liu Aumavae threw a 48-yard strike to Raider Damuni on the Thunderbirds’ opening drive.

But Olympus held tough and kept Timpview scoreless the rest of the half and the third quarter while adding its own touchdown. The Titans’ touchdown came in the winding 30 seconds of the first half as Johnny Frank plunged in from 1 yard out after a 29-yard run by Tommy Hoggan set Olympus up.

Timpview’s Braxton Fely blocked the PAT, which for a while looked like it might be the difference-maker in the final outcome of a penalty-ridden game that tallied a total of 38 flags on the night.

“I think Olympus is one of the top 5 teams in the state. The RPI doesn’t say that, but you can tell by watching film,” Stokes said. “We killed ourselves with two fumbles, and I think we dropped three wide open balls in the first half. I was upset that we weren’t executing, but not surprised at the early score because that’s a good football team.”

In the fourth quarter though, Olympus was quickly blindsided after swinging the momentum to its own side after intercepting Timpview. But Pokai Haunga made that momentum short-lived, snagging Hoggan’s pass at the Olympus 20-yard line and scoring with 11:22 left in the fourth quarter.

Just 16 seconds later on the Titans’ first play of the ensuing drive, a towering Logan Fano read the play and grabbed Hoggan’s pass at the Olympus 5-yard line for back-to-back pick sixes. 

“We had seen that formation on film,” Fano said. “I thought, ‘Man, this could be the play,’ so I sat back and luckily it was the play.”

Olympus couldn’t catch a break on the next play either, as a line-drive kick bounced off an Olympus player and was recovered by Timpview. Targhee Lambson made good on his team’s effort with a 50-yard bust with 10:16 left to play in the game to cap the stunning 21 point effort in 66 seconds.

Up 28-6, Timpview added a 12-yard score from Messi Paulu to go up 35-6 with just over a minute left to play. Olympus did score again in the final 30 seconds when Hoggan tossed a 16-yard pass to Spencer Tagge for the 35-13 final.

“Having a week to just think and recollect allowed us to really get back to who we know we are and just play the way we know Timpview football plays,” said Fano about coming off a bye and some late struggles. 

The Thunderbirds face No. 1 Brighton next weekend in the quarterfinals. 

“Our team has been through a lot this year,” Fano said. “Everyone knows about our coach, his wife, Aunty Tia, she’s sick, so this means a lot to us to be able to be blessed to move on in the playoffs and represent them one more week.”