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Woods Cross • Sometimes the first two offensive series can set the tone for an entire football game.
At least that's the way it was Friday as Timpview earned a 35-14 Class 4A quarterfinal victory over Woods Cross.
The Thunderbirds took the opening kickoff and gobbled up 78 yards in six plays, scoring on a 6-yard touchdown run by Gregson Aspinall.
Woods Cross rolled down the field as well on its first possession but stalled on the Timpview 11-yard line.
That set the game's storyline. Timpview managed to finish many drives, taking a 21-0 lead at halftime. Woods Cross came close to scoring several times in both the second and third quarters but never could finish the deal until scoring two meaningless touchdowns in the fourth quarter after trailing 28-0.
"We needed to come out and start fast because Woods Cross is a very good team," Timpview coach Cary Whittingham said.
Thunderbirds senior quarterback Jake Lloyd, who had four touchdown passes, said the team learned early in the season the importance of starting quickly.
"So far this year, we kind of struggled off fast," he said. "Some of our region games were close and we couldn't pull away. Ever since the playoffs started, the team realized a quick start is all you need to get things rolling. Last game and this game, we started off quick, and from there the offense rolled and the defense got warmed up. The defense was awesome."
Timpview was forced to play its state tournament contests on the road because of forfeiting four games due to playing ineligible players. Whittingham and Lloyd said the team has liked the challenge of playing away from home.
"I love the atmosphere," Lloyd said. "I love it when the crowd starts chanting, 'You've got ineligible players.' We say, 'They are eligible now, and they are coming at you.' "
"The kids eat it up that they have to go on the road and prove themselves," Whittingham said.
What made this victory over Woods Cross and last week's win over Logan so impressive is that the Wildcats and the Grizzlies are fine teams that experienced great seasons.
Woods Cross, for example, had recorded shutouts in three of its last four games, capping its best football seasons in years.
But the Wildcats couldn't seem to make that one big stop or get that one last offensive play to stay in this one.
Timpview used long drives to score on three of its first four possessions, with Lloyd hitting Aaron Eckhoff on a 6-yard scoring pass and Dax Raymond on a 15-yarder with 19 seconds left in the first half. When Lloyd hit Raymond on a 16-yard score late in the third quarter, the game was all but over.
Woods Cross did manage to get on the board twice in the fourth quarter when Alton Brown scored on a 2-yard run and Skyler Farnes hit Sean Barton on a 16-yard scoring play. But even then, Lloyd connected with Raymond on a 5-yard final score to continue Timpview's domination.