4A high school football preview: Woods Cross at Timpview
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Woods Cross (4-5) at Timpview (7-2)
4A state tournament first round
Friday, 7 p.m.
Parry's Power Guide: Timpview by 3
All-time series: Timpview leads 2-1
Coach vs. coach: First meeting between Woods Cross' Nick Longshore and Timpview's Louis Wong
Last meeting: Oct. 30, 1998, Timpview 41, Woods Cross 13 (4A first round)
This has definitely been an atypical season for the Timpview T-Birds.
Their 8-2 record is glossy as usual, but the manner in which they won many of those games wasn't what football fans around the state are used to seeing.
Timpview needed a last-second miracle to beat Mountain View. It barely beat Maple Mountain and Timpanogos. It needed to rally to beat Orem and Springville.
Outside of losing to Springville in last year's quarterfinals, these were teams that old Timpview teams would routinely beat by 40 points.
In fact, heading into this Friday's 4A first round game against Woods Cross, Timpview's average margin of victory is just 11.5 ppg. When you consider its average margin of victory the past five years has been 24.3, 27.9, 26.8, 34.9 and 20.6, that's a sizeable drop-off.
"We haven't been as completely dominant as we have been in the past, but it's showed they need to work harder on a weekly basis to avoid losing games. It's been tougher to coach this team to get them to be consistent," said Timpview coach Louis Wong.
Yet for as crazy as the season was, Timpview still won the Region 8 title with a perfect 7-0 record and the bracket sets up nicely for the T-Birds to get back to Rice-Eccles Stadium again this year. Wong is hoping the character his players showed battling rare adversity leads them back to the state championship.
"We have that expectation. This year it has been a little bit more trying as a whole, but the progress that our kids has been good," said Wong. "We've gotten better each week."
In fact, last week's 47-20 victory over Provo to end the regular season was very Timpview-esque.
As for Woods Cross, it's happy to back in the playoffs after missing out last year, but first-year coach Nick Longshore expected his team to be better than a 4-5 football team heading into the playoffs.
"We haven't played as well as we would've liked defensively. We've done well, but every game it seems like we give up a few big plays and it shows up on the scoreboard," said Longshore.
Woods Cross lost to Viewmont in overtime in the season opener, lost at Highland, Idaho by two points in Week 3, and then kept it close against both East and Highland in region play before eventually losing.
The Wildcats know Timpview is a traditional state power, but they aren't intimidated because they've faced tough competition already this year.
"We need to limit our turnovers. In the games we've won we won the turnover battle, and in the games we've lost we've had a significant difference," said Longshore.
Woods Cross quarterback Skyler Farnes will need to have a big game for his team to pull off the upset. He's thrown for 2,395 yards and 20 TDs this year, but he's also thrown 16 interceptions.
Timpview's offense has become much better as the season's gone along, and Wong credits his offensive line.