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High school football: Defense leads out for American Fork in 31-21 win over Timpview

The Cavemen defense picked up the offense considerably in Thursday’s win over the T-Birds

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American Fork’s Fisher Ingersoll (1) runs the ball against Timpview at American Fork High School in American Fork on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Box score

AMERICAN FORK — American Fork football has largely been defined by prolific offenses in recent years, although it was the defense that led out and set the tone during Thursday’s 31-21 win over Timpview.

Forced turnovers and a truly stingy effort set up the Caveman offense in prime scoring position throughout the second quarter in what culminated into a commanding 21-0 lead at halftime.

“It’s great to see,” said American Fork coach Aaron Behm. “We felt our defense was going to be a very good unit for us heading into the season, and they certainly set the tone tonight.”

As for the Caveman offense, it did well capitalizing on the opportunities provided by the defense, but struggled to complete drives throughout the first quarter. American Fork forged long drives on its first three possessions only to be snuffed out in failing to convert fourth-down opportunities deep inside Timpview territory.

“That’s obviously something we need to work on,” Behm said. “You have to complete drives. It’s not enough to just move the ball, but we’ll work on that and get it better.”

American Fork’s first opportunity came by virtue of a shanked punt, which set it up with first-and-goal from the 9-yard line. Just one play later, Caveman quarterback Maddux Madsen ran it into the end zone for a 7-0 lead just minutes into the second quarter.

Spike Adams ran it in from 12 yards out soon thereafter, pushing the lead to 14-0 before the defense set up the offense yet again in prime position to score. This time it was linebacker Gabe Shipley picking off a pass deep within Timpview territory, which was followed up quickly by a Madsen 9-yard touchdown pass to Noah Moeaki.

“Maddux had a solid game like he always does for us,” Behm said, “and then we had a lot of guys step up, but yeah, I’m really pleased with the defense and the strides they’ve made all year and then in this game.”

Playing both sides of the ball effectively for the Cavemen was Fisher Ingersoll, who made strong impacts throughout.

Ingersoll scored American Fork’s final touchdown on the night on a 6-yard pass from Madsen to push the lead to 28-7 midway through the third quarter.

“He’s a great player and did a lot of things for us last year,” Behm said of Ingersoll. “He’s just gotten better, and we really count on him to make big plays on both offense and on defense.”

Timpview again struggled mightily to get much of anything going on offense for the second week in a row, but showed much better in the second half.

Starting for an injured Targhee Lambson, running back Pokai Haunga accounted for two of Timpview’s three touchdowns, including an 89-yard touchdown reception in the final minutes of the game.

With the win, American Fork improves to 2-0 on the year and is feeling optimistic moving forward.

“This was a big win for us,” Behm said. “Timpview has a lot of great athletes and is one of the most storied programs in the state. It was a good early test for us, and I’m proud of how we played and put it together tonight.”

Timpview falls to 0-2 on the season with the loss.