A dominating defense and long, time-consuming drives can result in a lot of football victories.
That’s the formula that Timpview used in Friday night’s 28-14 victory at Lehi and, come to think of it, probably a good plan for the rest of the season.
Logan Fano had four sacks and Ammon Key a pair of interceptions to spearhead the T-Bird defense, which held the Pioneers to just 94 yards through three quarters.
On one particular sack in the fourth quarter, Fano chased down speed Lehi quarterback Creyton Cooper from behind to snuff out a drive.
“It was pretty nice,” Fano said. “Honestly it was the whole D-line collectively and the linebackers getting the QB out of the pocket for me. Some of those sacks I really didn’t make a move but my guys were there for me and helped me make those plays. It’s all on my defense for helping me get those plays.”
Timpview’s offense posted scoring drives of 16, 15 and 12 plays to control the clock and limit Lehi’s chances to get back in the game.
“That’s a huge thing, the offense stepped up today too,” Fano said. “I know at the beginning of the year a lot of people were putting it off and saying they were going to be slow. I’m proud of those guys. They tuned out the haters and they did their thing. You saw it tonight. They helped us out on defense and we were victorious in the end.”
Key returned his first interception all the way to the Lehi 18-yard line in the first quarter. Three plays later, Liu Aumavae found a wide-open Daniel Kaio on a 13-yard scoring pass and a quick 7-0 lead for the visitors.
On Timpview’s next possession, the T-Birds rode the broad backs of their massive offensive line to bang out a 15-play, 61-yard drive that culminated in a 2-yard Micah Beckstead run and a 14-0 advantage with 3:03 to play in the first quarter.
The rest of the half was an exercise in futility for both teams on the offensive side. Lehi finally put a drive together and reached the Timpview 18-yard line thanks to a pass interference penalty with just over a minute to play. But on fourth down and 3, Creyton Cooper’s pass to the corner of the end zone flew out of bounds.
Timpview pushed into Lehi territory with Aumavae completing four passes, the last to Chaid Allred to the Pioneers 29 with 6.4 seconds left. Aumavae’s final pass of the half was intercepted by Tristan Royce and the T-Birds took a 14-0 lead into the halftime break.
Timpview gobbled up nearly the entire third quarter with two long touchdown drives. Beckstead and Misi Tuha each scored on 1-yard runs and the T-Birds led 28-0 after three quarters.
Tuha and Beckstead were both workhorses for the T-Birds running game. Neither broke any long runs, but were effective enough to keep moving the chains. Tuha had 20 carries for 89 yards and Beckstead 23 carries for 64 yards.
Lehi finally got some offense going in the fourth quarter and got on the board with a 7-yard scoring run by Takeshi Faupulo, capping an eight-play, 75-yard drive. After Timpview failed to pick up a first down on a fake punt, the Pioneers cashed in again when Cooper connected with Carson Gonzalez on a 15-yard scoring pass to cut Timpview’s lead to 28-14 with 3:18 remaining in the game.
Lehi tried to make things interesting when Christian Wren recovered the ensuing onside kick, but the Pioneers drive went nowhere and the T-Birds were able to run out the clock.
Timpview played the game without head coach Andy Stokes, who has been in COVID-19 quarantine since Monday.
“I actually have a class with Coach Stokes and he wasn’t at school on Monday,” Fano said. “That’s when I found out Coach had to be quarantined and we wouldn’t have him for the week. Our defense just felt inspired to play for him and Tia today.”
Tia Stokes, Andy Stokes’ wife, is battling leukemia.
Timpview (3-3 overall, 2-0 Region 7) has a big showdown with Orem next Friday in a rematch of last year’s Class 5A title game (won by the Tigers). Lehi (4-3, 1-1) will host Alta next Friday.