Timpview defeats Highland to advance to second round of State

Victoria Weser

The Thunderbirds were labeled underdogs in their first round playoff with Highland, but that didn’t stop them from dominating the Rams 35-10 on Friday, October 26.

Timpview seized the momentum right from the start, with a surprise onside kick recovery that set the tone for the rest of the game.

“That onside kick was definitely huge. We had practiced it because we saw an opening in their front line on the film,” said senior Sonny Makasini.

Kicker Zander Budd said “I was scared, but right before I was about to kick it I told myself ‘I got this’ and then I kicked it perfect and it worked out great. It really brought our energy up a ton right after that.”

This began the Thunderbirds’ best first quarter of the season, with the Timpview offense scoring three touchdowns and the defense holding Highland at zero points.

Much of the offensive success has to be attributed to junior Sione Moa. After playing mostly running back this year, Sione was switched to starting quarterback. “Coming into the Highland game and being in this new position I was nervous, but I just tried to go out there and make the right reads. We had a great week of practice this week, so that helped a lot.”

Moa showed great poise by scoring 3 touchdowns for Timpview, two rushing and one passing. He passed for 69 yards and ran for 144 yards. As a whole, Timpview rushed for a whopping 319 yards, literally running all over the Rams.

When Moa was asked about the success of the running game this season, he said, “Of course it starts with our linemen, blocking for us and making those holes. It also comes with all three of our running backs. When Targhee and Ammon are running good that’s going to help me run good. It’s a team effort for sure.”

Highland’s only touchdown came on special teams, when senior Zander Budd’s field goal was blocked and returned for a touchdown by Highland’s Cameron Levy. Budd commented, “Honestly I don’t even know what happened, all I know is it was blocked from the left side. Coach Wheatley told me it was one of my fastest kicks ever, so I don’t know how it got blocked.”

The worst news of the game is that Timpview has lost star senior receiver Rowan Reay to a torn ACL, a season-ending injury. This loss will affect the team in a big way. “He does a lot for our team and I’m going to miss throwing the ball to him. He had a big impact on our team,” said Moa.

This win is a huge confidence booster going into the next game against Roy. Hopefully, this will just be a stepping stone on our Thunderbirds journey to a State Championship.