PROVO — Through the first half of play, Timpview’s defense held Jordan ace running back Jake Shaver to just 36 yards on the ground.
In one burst through the middle of the offensive line, Shaver more than doubled that.
Shaver ran for 159 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns, including a 77-yard score in the third quarter, to help the Beetdiggers pull away from host Timpview 18-7 Thursday night to stay unbeaten in Region 7 play.
“Shaver’s always been Mr. Consistent,” Jordan coach Kaleo Teriipaia said. “We count on him quite a bit, along with Bolingbroke. We’ve got a lot of offensive weapons.”
Jordan (5-3, 4-0) will face undefeated Corner Canyon next Wednesday for the Region 7 title. Both teams clinched at least one home playoff game with wins Thursday night.
But this year’s Beetdiggers did it in a way that many longtime fans of Jordan High football may not recognize.
They did it with defense.
Shaver opened the scoring with a 1-yard TD plunge on its opening drive. But after a missed extra point, the Thunderbirds took the lead through Nui Adolpho’s 9-yard strike to Fanga Pulu with 2:14 left in the quarter.
And that was the last time Timpview (5-3, 2-2 Region 7) would score.
“The defense knew it was going to be a defensive game, and we would have to produce or get out,” Teriipaia said. “We wanted to send a message that Jordan is not just an offensive team anymore.”
The Thunderbirds rode a strong defensive effort of their own — three sacks, a blocked punt and an interception by Kani Taufa in the remainder of the half — to take a 7-6 edge at halftime.
But the Beetdigger offense quickly found its rhythm after the break.
Shaver burst up the middle with just under 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter, and the 5-foot-9, 185-pound tailback was off to the races for a 77-yard score that gave the Beetdigger the lead for good, 12-7.
Logan Homer added a pair of second-half field goals to stay in front.
The Thunderbirds had one final drive in the to try to make something happen in the final minutes of the second half.
Adolpho led Timpview all the way down to the 8-yard line about four minutes left. But Jordan defensive back Quinten Kafentzis jumped a route and pulled down a game-sealing interception in the end zone.
Fitting, wasn’t it?
“It was very fitting. That’s a kid who has had a lot of picks,” Teriipaia said. “Last week, he had a pick-six and two picks. Jordan is known for defense now, not just offense. That’s what I wanted to set the tone.”
Corner Canyon 49, Alta 21
At Corner Canyon, Cody Hagen threw for three touchdowns, and Austin Bell returned an interception 99 yards for a score to help the Chargers cruise past rival Alta 49-21.
Bell’s pick-six gave the Chargers a 28-0 lead at halftime, and Corner Canyon cruised to the finish.
Alta’s Dallin Pan and Corner Canyon’s John Scheffner had back-to-back kick returns for touchdowns.
Cinco Lucero threw for a pair of touchdowns for Alta.