Schank leads Cedar Valley to come-from-behind victory at Timpanogos
Cedar Valley’s Easton Schank was tired.
It was no wonder: the 6-foot, 195-pound senior carried the offensive load all night as a quarterback/running back/receiver, rushing 26 times for 160 yards and three touchdowns and catching six passes for 67 yards and another score on Friday at Timpanogos. His third rushing touchdown brought the Aviators to within one point of the Timberwolves, 35-34, with 32 seconds to play.
Cedar Valley coach Weston Zabriskie sent Elijah Holman out to kick the tying extra point but then called time out. After a discussion with his players and coaches, Zabriskie chose a play with Schank at quarterback for a two-point conversion attempt to win the game.
“I had just scored and I was out of breath,” Schank said. “The coaches were like, ‘Hey, we’ve been working on this play for three weeks.’ We’ve been running it and perfecting it. We came out and executed it perfectly.”
Schank faked a run from the shotgun formation then threw to the corner of the end zone to a wide-open Taygen Hansen for the two-point conversion and a come-from-behind 36-35 victory.
“We felt like it was the right call.” Zabriskie said. “We wanted to give the kids a chance to win and they totally took it. We just said, ‘You know what, let’s go for the win.'”
Things looked pretty grim for Cedar Valley when Timpanogos quarterback Matu Holdaway ran for a first down with 2:08 to play and the home team leading 35-28. But Hansen stripped him of the ball and recovered at the T-Wolves 46-yard line. Cooper Thomson completed a clutch fourth down pass to Schank to the Timpanogos 2-yard line and two plays later, Schank powered in for the score to set up the game-winning conversion.
Timpanogos, which was trying to start a season 6-0 for the first time in school history, led 14-0, 20-7 and 27-14 as Holdaway threw four touchdown passes, two to Luke Livingston. But Cedar Valley also forced four turnovers – two fumbles and two interceptions – that slowed down an offense that came into Friday averaging 54.8 points per game.
Cedar Valley trailed 27-14 with 4:56 to play in the third quarter when Holdaway connected on a 39-yard touchdown pass to Livingston. But the Aviators got a 35-yard scoring run from Schank and took a 28-27 lead with 9:27 to play when he scored again on a 5-yard run.
Timpanogos responded with a long drive powered by the running of Josh Jones, who busted loose for gains of 20 and 21 before breaking the goal line on a 3-yard run. Holdaway hooked up with Jaxon Vanchiere for the two-point conversion with 6:38 to play for a 35-28 lead.
After Cedar Valley took the one-point lead on Schank’s big play, Holdaway led the T-Wolves to the Aviators 32-yard line with with two seconds to play. Reed Harris, who won last week’s game at Payson with a 42-yard field goal in the final seconds, came up short on a 49-yard attempt as time expired.
Cedar Valley began the season with senior Payton Weber at quarterback, but he was injured after three games. Thomson, a junior lefty, took some time to get comfortable but on Friday combined perfectly with Schank to get the offensive moving.
“Easton is a weapon,” Zabriskie said. “Luckily, coming into the season, one thing we did say was we had the luxury of having three quarterbacks. Easton played well. Credit his leadership, too. When he was told he was moving from quarterback to running back, he didn’t skip a beat. He’s team first.”
Cedar Valley (3-3 overall, 2-1 Region 7) hosts Stansbury next Friday.
“This is a big win for us,” Zabriskie said. “We feel like we’re just right on the cusp of being a really good team. When we’re moving the ball and our defense is playing their best game, we’re pretty tough. What I love about this group is they are resilient. They’re going to keep working hard.”
Timpanogos (5-1, 2-1) will attempt to recover from its first loss of the season with a homecoming game against Uintah next Friday.
Cedar Valley 36, Timpanogos 35
T–Vanchiere 41 pass from Holdaway (Bretzing kick)
T–Livingston 59 pass from Holdaway (Bretzing kick)
CV–Vogel 65 interception return (Holman kick)
T–Bretzing 24 pass from Holdaway (kick failed)
CV–Schank 15 pass from Thomson (Holman kick)
T–Livingston 39 pass from Holdaway (Bretzing kick)
CV–Schank 35 run (Holman kick)
CV – Schank 3 run (Holman kick)
TN–Jones 3 run (Holdaway pass to Vanchiere)
CV–Schank 1 run (Schank pass to Hansen)