Thunderbirds stun Westlake in Region 7 thriller

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LEHI -- The Westlake Thunder were "Loud-N-Proud" in a hard fought battle against the defending 4A champion Timpview Thunderbirds. However, the Thunderbirds proved to be the better team, beating Westlake at home, 43-20.

The Thunderbirds took control early in the second half on a 12-play drive and 80 yards, with Rickey Shumway scoring his second touchdown of the night, putting Timpview up 30-20.

The momentum continued as Westlake missed a 37-yard field goal with 6.4 seconds left in the third quarter. This allowed for the Thunderbirds' quarterback Christian Covey to find Zach Van Leeuwen open mid-field for an 80-yard touchdown pass with 0.8 seconds left. The Thunderbirds went up 37-20 going in to the fourth quarter.

"It feels good. I always love the long ones," said Van Leeuwen.

The troubles didn't end for Westlake, fumbling the ball at Timpview's 42 yard line, with the Thunderbirds recovering. Timpview stormed back down the field, with a 27-yard rushing touchdown by Josey Trammell to put them up 43-20.

Commenting on the success of his team, Covey said, "We had some great plays from a lot of different guys. Our receivers were playing awesome, getting open and having great catches."

And that they did. Timpview had five players contributing to their six touchdown, with Rickey Shumway scoring two on his own. Westlake was outscored 20-7 in the second half alone.

"Getting the whole thing together, executing, that's always most important," remarked Covey.

Covey had a good game, rushing 117 yards on 16 carries and was 16 of 23 for 264 yards.

Westlake's Nick Waitkich did his best to keep the Thunder in the game with 11 carries for 175 yards and two touchdowns. Waitkich had a 75-yard rushing touchdown with 3:32 in the first quarter to put Westlake on the board, 10-7. With 2:56 left in the second quarter, Waitkich scored again on a 57-yard rushing touchdown, closing the gap to three, 16-13.

Although Timpview won convincingly, Head Coach Louis Wong mentioned that there were things that they needed to work on to be a better team:

"Our biggest challenge is ourselves, being ready to play when we're supposed to play. When we get out of ourself, playing someone else's system, that's when we have a problem. We played good ball today but we're still moving forward."

The Thunderbirds have three more games left in their region and are looking to win their fifth consecutive 4A state title.

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Josh Furlong


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