Receiver/defensive back/return specialist Taylor Heiner had a breakout game for Provo (2-0) leading the Bulldogs to a dominant 22-0 win over visiting Westlake (0-2) Friday night.
Heiner scored both of Provo’s touchdowns, one via a 4-yard reception from Luke Haslem to push Provo out in front 10-0 in the first quarter. Heiner set up his own score with an interception return of 35 yards.
With Provo leading 13-0 in the third quarter, Westlake punted and Ryan Harward fielded the boot, then tossed it back to Heiner who streaked down the sidelines untouched behind a wall of blockers to give Provo a 19-0 lead.
The other special teams star on the night was Alex Myles-Mills who connected on three field goals which accounted for the rest of the Bulldog scoring. Myles-Mills also punted the ball well including one time escaping heavy pressure to get off a long kick to change field position.
Dallin Havea also played big for the Bulldogs with a 42-yard run to set up a second-quarter field goal and an interception late in the first half to end a Westlake scoring threat.
As for Westlake, it really never threatened the end zone as the swarming Provo defense led by the likes of Mason Cobb, Jaemen Cobb, Jimmy Tomasi, Sione Tuha, along with Harward and Heiner kept the Thunder from crackling. Westlake did, however, hold Provo scoreless in the final stanza.
Though Westlake was shutout, there were some bright spots. Junior quarterback Brayden Ross showed some grit and made some plays with his feet and Oakley Slade made two catches in traffic to move the chains and help keep Provo’s offense off the field. Kale Anderson, Jackson Lees and Taufa Kanuch made some nice plays on defense as well.
Provo’s offense wasn’t as sharp as it was last week when the Bulldogs pummeled Logan in their home opener 47-6, but it was good enough and combined with a suffocating defense and explosive special teams had more than enough to get past Westlake.
“It was a good win, but we made a lot of mistakes out there,” said Provo head coach Tony McGeary. “Our defense was stellar. Coach Poduska (Provo’s defensive coordinator) did a great job getting our kids prepared. All in all, defense and special teams got it done for us tonight.”
The Provo head coach gave Westlake a lot of credit for some of his team’s struggle on offense.
“This is a good Westlake team, a lot quicker than they were last year and real gutty. Their defensive front gave us fits all night.” added McGeary.
Now Provo will turn its attention to its longtime rival Timpview, though the two teams compete in different regions. The Bulldog faithful have to be hopeful that this year might be the year Provo gets it done as Timpview (0-2) has won the last 30 contests between the two schools. As for McGeary, he wants to just focus on preparation and keeping things simple.
“Well, we just have to get back to fundamentals and get a good week of practice and get prepared one practice at a time.”