Inspired perhaps by playing on their new artificial turf field, the winless Timpanogos Timberwolves gave a valiant effort in their 21-13 loss to Maple Mountain.
The Timberwolves came ready to play and had to overcome an injury to their starting quarterback Bryant Sakamaki.
Stepping in was running back AJ Bentley but in the end the Golden Eagles had too much firepower.
Maple Mountain got the ball to open the game but fumbled on its first play from scrimmage. Timpanogos scored four plays later as Sakamaki dove in from one yard out. The kick from Mason Stritikus was true and Timpanogos led 7-0.
Maple Mountain’s high-powered offense was sluggish throughout most of the first half but quarterback Tyler Nelson found Kyson Hall well past any Timberwolf defender for a 78-yard scoring play in the second quarter. The two-point try failed and Timpanogos led 7-6 at the break.
Timpanogos kept up its inspired play and finally Rory Ziegra, who rushed for over a 1,000 yards last season, busted loose. He actually had two long runs but one was called back by a holding penalty. The first long run would have been a 56-yard scoring romp but Ziegra didn’t let the penalty deter him and he broke off a 44-yard run on the very next play. Three plays later Bentley broke the plane on a 1-yard carry. The point after was blocked leaving Timpanogos ahead 13-7.
But then Tyler Nelson and his receiving corp went to work, particularly Nelson working with Brian Bess.
Nelson found Bess behind the Timpanogos defense for a 49-yard gain which set up Quinlin Jackson’s 1-yard plunge on the next play. Maple Mountain chose to go for two points and were successful with a Nelson run and forged ahead, 14-13.
Bess came up big again scoring on a 35-yard connection with Nelson. Seth Krommenhook split the upright and Maple Mountain led 21-13 going into the final stanza.
Neither team scored in the fourth quarter as Maple Mountain’s went to an effective ball-control offense. Nelson was effective with some short passes including one to Aedan Seiuli to move the chains. Jackson broke off some tough runs to keep the clock moving and the Golden Eagles ran out the clock to secure the win.
“Any win is a good win” said Maple Mountain head coach Brad Burtenshaw.
In regards to relying on the long ball to move the ball and score Burtenshaw was pragmatic about the approach.
“Everyone wants to drive, but they were playing real tough and we just felt we had the advantage there, and we just wanted to take advantage with that.”