SANDY — A much-anticipated matchup produced an anticlimactic conclusion.
The Alta Hawks broke open a tied game with a 17-point second quarter en route to a 31-15 win over the Timpview Thunderbirds in Friday's contest between last year's 4A and 5A state champions.
Alta quarterback Jordan Brown threw for two touchdowns, both in the decisive second stanza. Brown also rushed for 64 yards, including a 33-yard scamper in the fourth quarter that put the game on ice.
"He controlled the tempo of the game," Alta coach Les Hamilton said of his senior quarterback. "I thought we did a great job offensively of executing our game plan tonight."
Timpview was playing against a defending state champion for the second week in a row, and was without all-state lineman Bronson Kaufusi, who is out for the year with a torn ACL.
Hamilton, however, didn't see that as any reason to take the T-Birds lightly.
"We knew that they're solid across the board on defense. ... It's too bad (Kaufusi) didn't get to play," he said. "We have the utmost respect for Timpview. Their kids play hard."
Timpview started the game with a 15-play drive that gobbled six minutes and nine seconds off the clock, taking the T-Birds' only lead of the game on a 5-yard pass from Trevor Brown to Genesis Laufou.
Alta came right back to tie the score on its first possession. Brown dumped off a shovel pass to Zach Liston, who spun away from would-be tacklers on his way to a 30-yard score.
Alta's defense then asserted itself.
On the next series, Hawk linebacker Parker Hausknecht busted through to sack Trevor Brown on second down and the T-Birds were eventually forced to punt.
Liston brought the punt back to the Timpview 27-yard line, and five plays later Brown found Tyron Morris in the end zone for an 11-yard score.
Hausknecht recorded his second sack on a third-down play in the next Timpview possession, forcing another T-Bird punt. On the Hawks' ensuing drive, Jordan Brown ran for 12 yards with 15 more tacked on for a horse-collar penalty to set up Alta at the 13.
Another T-Bird penalty gave the Hawks first-and-goal at the 1-yard line, and Bryan Finnerty took it in for the touchdown to put Alta up by two scores.
On Timpview's next offensive series, Alta's Nik Wolford picked off a pass and returned it 35 yards to the Timpview 15. Moose Bingham's 41-yard field goal capped off the frame's scoring outburst.
"Toughen up," said Hamilton when asked what he told his defense after Timpview's opening drive. "The defense gave up the drive to start out and after that tightened down.39 comments on this story
"Timpview just executed on that first drive. We were a little bit shell-shocked, obviously, but they're a great football team. I'm proud of how they bounced back. They didn't hang their heads and they played solid the rest of the game."
Timpview mounted a few good drives, but penalties stalled the T-Birds all night. Zack Vanleeuwen helped keep the chains moving for Timpview with nine catches for 121 yards. Trevor Brown had 196 yards passing.
The T-Birds added a late score on linebacker Ofa Latu's 40-yard interception return. Jeremiah Burr lofted a pass to Ruben Christiansen in the end zone to cap the game's scoring.