BOUNTIFUL — It wasn't your typical nose-to-the-grind, run-the-ball Bountiful team Friday night. Rather the Braves went to the air, and did it well to get by Timpanogos 42-27 and advance in the playoffs.
"We're run first, and that really sets up the passing game," said Bountiful quarterback Cam Zollinger. "Teams are concerned about our triple-threat running backs, so that opens up a lot of passing lanes for me. Also our receiver corps is phenomenal and if they get the ball, I know they are going to do something with it."
Zollinger tossed four touchdowns and threw for 273 yards in the win. The senior also snatched an interception off his counterpart Kaden Bramall in the final minute to seal the victory.
"I was proud of our offense," said Bountiful coach Larry Wall. "Cam (Zollinger) was the trigger to that whole deal. He made good smart reads and we were able to capitalize on the turnovers."
The Braves only blunder came on their first drive, after Riley Schwenke blocked Bountiful's punt and Morgan Dickerson recovered for Timpanogos at the Bountiful 24-yard line. Dickerson was rewarded for the recovery with a 20-yard toss from Bramall soon after to put the T-Wolves up early. But it was the only lead Timpanogos would have as Bountiful stormed back with three straight touchdowns to jump up 21-7. Two of the scores came via Zollinger while the other was a 36-yard run by Jakob Hunt.
Timpanogos fought back and held Bountiful on fourth down before driving 96 yards and scoring on a 1-yard keeper by Bramall. The score came with just over 6 minutes to play in the game, but Bountiful blocked the extra point and kept the T-Wolves at bay at 28-27. From there, the Braves went back to their bread-and-butter run to chew up the clock. They marched down the field before scoring on a fade-pass from Zollinger to Tanner Redding.
Redding quickly scored again on a 35-yard interception return to put the game out of reach at 42-27.
"We got a little bit tired and missed some tackles," said Wall of Timpanogos' near rally. "We were missing one of our top guys inside, and they (Timpanogos) are good and explosive, and can hit you at different angles. I thought for the most part the defense did a good job and that's a big win for us."
"That blocked PAT took a little bit out of us, and then that kickoff return they had had good yardage." said Timpanogos coach Ed Larson. "That touchdown they threw at the end was probably the best thing that happened to us because we got the ball back and had a chance to tie with a two-point conversion. We just didn't convert on offense and made some bad decisions. But I'm proud of our kids, they just didn't quit tonight."
Max Hill had over 150 yards rushing on the night and a touchdown for Timpanogos.