Few teams have found a way to crack Timpview's defense this season. The Thunderbirds use a perfect combination of size, speed and experience to exploit weaknesses in opposing offenses on a weekly basis.

Against Mountain Crest, it didn't take long to establish that trademark dominance.

In its 38-0 4A semifinal victory over the Mustangs, Timpview forced Mountain Crest to punt on five straight possessions. The Mustangs gained only 6 yards in the first quarter and did not earn a first down until freshman quarterback Alex Kuresa completed a 13-yard pass to Ethan Lofthouse five minutes into the second quarter.

When that first down finally materialized, the T-Birds already held a four-touchdown lead.

"It just gave us confidence to do what we needed to do," senior quarterback Quinn Mecham said of the defense's first half performance. "It just started us off good."

It became obvious the T-Birds would have their way with Mountain Crest when linebacker Blake MaKenzie sacked freshman quarterback Alex Kuresa for a 10-yard loss on the Mustangs' first play from scrimmage.

On the Mustangs' subsequent first-half drives, Timpview recorded three more sacks and generally had its way facing a smaller offensive line.

"I don't know about anybody else — I felt good, though," MaKenzie said, concerning his initial sack. "That started up the momentum. We just went on from there."

If the first half could be considered the story of the T-Birds' defensive dominance, BYU-bound lineman Bronson Kaufusi wrote the final chapter. Kaufusi held his ground when Kuresa threw a screen pass, while facing second-and-22 at midfield.

The sophomore stepped in front of the ball and took it 48 yards the other direction for his team's fifth and final touchdown, making it a 35-0 game with 3:20 left in the half.

One reason teams find it so difficult to get anything going against Timpview is something as simple as preparation. The T-Birds make their mandate to learn their opponent's offense inside and out. If any scheme or tendency can be exploited, it's a good chance they know how to do it well before kickoff.

"A lot of credit goes to our scout team offense," Kaufusi said. "They come out every day and go against us. They're a huge impact on how we play."

One goal Timpview emphasized coming out of this week's practices was eliminating Mountain Crest's running game. Containing the backfield proved to be an easy task. The Mustangs carved out a meager 20 yards on 22 rushing attempts.


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