As some have suggested, the Timpview Thunderbirds just might belong in a league of their own.
Certainly, no team in 4A football compares.
If winning every game this season by an average of about 35 points and throttling three previous playoff opponents by a combined score of 109-20 hadn't convinced you of that, Friday's 50-7 pounding of previously unbeaten Pine View in the 4A championship game should.
"This definitely shows that we're the best team in the state, hands down, no doubt about it," Timpview captain Michael Alisa said in celebration.
The title is the T-Birds' sixth in school history, second straight and third in the past four years. The 43-point margin of victory is the second-largest ever in a state championship game and the largest in the past 88 years. The blowout was Timpview's 23rd consecutive win. Even head coach Louis Wong is finally acknowledging where this Timpview team ranks.
"It's the best team we've had," Wong said. "No (Timpview) team has gone 13-0 and no (Timpview) team has won
The margin in statistics was even greater than the score. Timpview had 611 total yards to 151 for Pine View, and most of the Panthers' yards came when the T-Birds' starters left the game in the fourth quarter with a 50-0 lead. Pine View was only able to cross Timpview's 20-yard line once. Timpview held the Panthers to only nine first downs, less than three yards per play and also forced five turnovers.
"We want to shock people with our speed, with our quickness, with our strength and our overall team performance, and I think we did that today," Wong said.
Quarterback Quinn Mecham passed for 194 yards, while six running backs combined to rush for 417 yards. Levi Te'o had 106 of those yards, with three touchdowns, and Jerom Patterson added 180 yards and one TD. Patterson credited Timpview's front line for opening huge holes all game.
"I'm honored to be behind them. They are the best line in the state by far," Patterson said.
Pine View's only bright spot was its 177 return yards. Timpview's only negatives were three turnovers and 167 yards in penalties.
"This is a powerhouse. This is a team that we'd like to become one day," Pine View coach Ray Hosner said in describing the Timpview team that dismantled his 13-win squad. "You've got to play the best to know where you're at, and we played the best today. Hopefully, we figured out where we need to be."
Timpview grabbed the momentum early when a 58-yard pass to Parker Frischknecht set up Te'o's 4-yard TD run. The T-Birds then put the Panthers back on their heels for good when a Chris Badger interception, one of his two on the day, set up Te'o's second TD run.
Pine View added to its pain when a bad snap on a punt resulted in a safety. Moments later Cameron Shumway kicked a 24-yard field goal to put Timpview ahead 19-0 after one quarter. Patterson finished off the first-half scoring with a 10-yard TD scamper early in the second.
The T-Birds piled it on quickly in the second half. On their first play of the third, Patterson ran for a 35-yard gain. On the next play Te'o ran a tight-rope down the left sideline for a 15-yard score. Shumway's second field goal, this one from 39 yards, put Timpview up 36-0. A 61-yard TD run by Tyler Goodwin midway through the fourth and a 36-yard fumble return by Ofa Latu finished off Timpview's scoring.
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