“It was deja vu all over again.”
This famous quote by New York Yankee Hall of Famer Yogi Berra was apropos to the Timpanogos at Timpview 5A playoff game Friday afternoon.
Last Wednesday these two teams played in the Region 7 finale, a game won by Timpview, 52-23. And because of the new RPI playoff format and the seeding of the team, these two county rivals found themselves playing each other again the very next week in the first round of the 5A state tournament.
The end result was pretty much the same as it was the week prior as Timpview dominated Timpanogos, 56-15.
Thunderbird Targhee Lambson scored three times on the ground while Elijah Allen tossed two touchdown passes to Braxton Craven in the first half alone. Add in a touchdown run by Ammon Key and the Thunderbirds put up 43 points in the first half.
Lambson opened the scoring with a 14-yard run but Timpanogos countered as Bryant Sakamaki-Kaaua connected with Connor Stratton for a 45-yard score to tie things up at 7-7.
Timpanogos even threatened to take a lead but could not punch it from the 1-yard line and after failing on fourth down, Timpview took over and then took complete control of the game.
However, there will be likely one play that will likely surface on YouTube. And since the outcome of the game wasn’t in doubt, it will be one of those plays that will provide a light-hearted moment to all those that witnessed it.
Midway in the second quarter Timpanogos punted the ball away. The punt was short and bounced back toward the original line of scrimmage. A Timpanogos lineman downed the ball but did not pick it up. Therefore, the receiving team can pick up the ball and try to return it without any risk of losing possession.
Timpview’s Alden Chiu did just that but the only problem was that he took off the wrong way and sprinted toward Timpview’s own endzone some 65 yards away.
When he crossed into the end line the officials blew their whistle and awarded Timpanogos a safety. The only problem was by doing that was they prevented Timpanogos the opportunity of falling on the ball for a possible touchdown when Chiu dropped the football, nor did it give Timpview’s players a chance to run the ball out of the endzone to keep possession and prevent the safety. After the officials consulted with each other and each head coach, the original call of a safety stood which cut Timpview’s lead to 36-9 at the time.
Chiu did atone for his mistake in the final stanza with a strip sack which led to a fumble recovery allowing Timpview to run out the clock.
Timpview did tack on two more third quarter scores with a 9-yard run by Taylor Malo and a 2-yard plunge to paydirt for Misi Tuha. The score by Malo put Timpview ahead 49-9 which then triggered the continuous clock rule. Still, Timpanogos managed one last score when Sakamaki-Kaau hooked up with Kaden Larsen on a 5-yard scoring connection.
With the win, Timpview moves on to play Springville next week. The Red Devils are the seventh seed and received a bye when Cottonwood petitioned the Utah High School Activities Association not to participate in the playoffs. The Colts were 0-10 on their season and lost every game by a large margin. This allowed the Red Devils a chance to rest their players while their coaches came to scout the game. However, Timpview head coach Austin Stokes was glad his team had a chance to play a first-round game.
“The RPI is fine, I don’t mind it. I’d rather play a game than have a bye,” said Stokes. “You have to play everyone if you want to win (the championship). Play them sooner or later, you still got to play them.”
Stokes did see improvement in his team from last week’s game.
“We got better. That was the goal this week. Hey, I told the kids, ‘how good could we be by Friday night?’ and that was the kids’ goal, to get a little bit better.”