LEHI — It was the type of drive that defines championship teams — and if anyone knows about winning titles, it's Timpview.
Leading upstart Westlake by three early in the third quarter of a matchup of unbeaten teams on Friday night, the T-Birds took control of the game with a demoralizing drive. It went 12 plays and 80 yards, and took exactly six minutes off the clock, culminating with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Christian Covey to Rickey Shumway.
"I thought the game was ours (after the drive)," said Timpview receiver Zach Van Leeuwen.
He was right. Timpview started to pull away after Covey and Shumway hooked up for the 4-yard score, and prevailed 43-20. The T-Birds improved to 6-0 while Westlake fell to 6-1.
Westlake never recovered after Timpview's 80-yard drive.
The Thunder put together a nice drive on their next possession, but it stalled in Timpview territory and they missed a field goal. On the T-Birds' next play on offense, Covey hit Van Leeuwen with an 80-yard touchdown pass to put the game out of reach, giving Timpview a 37-20 lead.
Van Leeuwen was wide open on the same play in the first half, but Covey misfired on what would have been a long touchdown pass.
"The posts were open the whole game, it was just a matter of hitting it," Van Leeuwen said. "When we finally connected, I was like, 'I see green, I'm going to score.' I was glad."
Timpview coach Louis Wong said his team's first scoring drive in the third quarter was a momentum changer.
"When they score, you got to match," he said. "We wanted to see how they would respond to adversity because they never had that before. They're a good ballclub. Hats off to them."
It was anyone's ballgame before Timpview's six-minute drive in the third quarter, as Westlake went toe-to-toe with the mighty T-Birds until then. Westlake running back Nick Waitkevich, who finished with 186 yards on 11 carries, scored on two long touchdown runs in the first half to get Timpview on its heels.
The Thunder closed in on Timpview when quarterback John Ursua scored on a 37-yard run on Westlake's opening drive of the second half to make it 23-20.
But Covey made sure the T-Birds' win streak stretched to 16. He completed two third-down passes on Timpview's 12-play scoring drive. He hit Shumway with an 18-yard strike on a third-and-17, and Zac Hayward with a 10-yard pass on a third-and-9 play to keep the chains moving.
Covey, who rushed for 117 yards on 16 carries and completed 16 of 23 passes for 264 yards, said his team was able to pull away because it kept its composure when Westlake got close in the second half.10 comments on this story
"I think we just had to calm down a little bit," said Covey, who threw four touchdown passes and rushed for another. "We realized the coaches were making the right calls — we just had to execute them. I overthrew some open receivers. My receivers did awesome, the line did awesome. I just had to start making some throws. It was my fault, and we stepped it up in the second half."
Timpview has three region games left to play before trying to win a fifth straight 4A title in the postseason. The T-Birds showed the road to the 4A championship still goes through them with their impressive win over previously unbeaten Westlake.
"No one's going to stop us," Shumway said.