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SALT LAKE CITY — Has the top contender in 5A been hiding in plain sight through the first month of the 2022 Utah high school football season, or at the very least, on the Hillside at Timpview High in Provo?
The Thunderbirds hammered Bingham 49-30 to improve to 4-0 with their third win over a 6A team. So while everyone's talking about defending champion Lehi (for good reason), is Timpview quietly the best team in 5A?
Though the Thunderbirds have plenty of standouts at the skill position — anyone heard of BYU wide receiver commit Pokaiaua Haunga? — the No. 4-ranked team in the latest KSL.com Top 20+1 is led by running back Micah Beckstead, who ran for his third and fourth touchdowns of the year Friday, and an offensive line that features BYU and Utah target (among many others) Spencer Fano.
"Those five guys are working really well right now," Timpview coach Donny Atuaia told KSL.com of the offensive line. "Anyone can be dangerous when you work together like that."
It doesn't get any easier, either. After dispatching Lone Peak, Herriman, Bingham and 4A contender Crimson Cliffs, Timpview will next host top-ranked and fellow unbeaten Skyridge Friday at 7 p.m. MDT at Mountain View High.
Want to make a big statement across the Utah high school football landscape? Go win that game.
So far, it's all building up to an epic clash.
"We'd like to start fresh next week," Beckstead said. "We don't want to let 4-0 get to us."
Here's the latest Top 20+1 rankings.
Coming in at #3 of @SportsCenter top 10, is this amazing play! @mccaehillstead makes the pass and @cannonjensen1 completes it with a left, one handed catch! Amazing moment in Skyridge Football history! pic.twitter.com/bert1fQbjp— Skyridge Football (@skyridgefb) September 5, 2022
1. Skyridge (4-0)
All the Falcons do is win and win big after Utah State quarterback commit McCae Hillstead scored three touchdowns and top-rated recruit Tausili Akana added five tackles and a two-point conversion in Skyridge's 54-7 rout of Orem.
The Falcons are averaging 47.75 points per game and have only given up 14 in four games.
2. Lehi (4-0)
For as much as Timpview has done through four weeks of the season, the road to 5A still runs through Pioneer Way after Lehi's 59-0 blitz of Copper Hills. Colorado State commit Jackson Brousseau threw four touchdown passes to four different receivers, and Carson Gonzalez added 93 yards and two touchdowns on the ground for the Pioneers, who will join KMYU and Corner Canyon in a home opener in Draper this Friday night.
3. Corner Canyon (3-1)
Four-star quarterback recruit Isaac Wilson threw four touchdown passes, including two to Tate Kjar, as the Chargers handed West Jordan its first loss of the season, 47-14, in the final game of a four-game road trip to start the year.
4. Timpview (4-0)
We want Bama? No, Beckstead, Haunga, the duo quarterback threat of Helaman Casuga and Quezon Villa wants Skyridge.
Be careful what you wish for, T-birds.
5. American Fork (4-0)
The Cavemen rallied from a 7-3 halftime deficit to edge past Rigby (Idaho) on Jacob Eardley's 5-yard touchdown run to open the third quarter. Max Edwards and Davis Andrews each had an interception, and Noah Anderson had field goals from 35 and 38 yards in the win.
6. Stansbury (4-0)
Are the Stallions for real? We're not sure, but Ezra Harris will try to convince you with 140 yards and three touchdowns passing and 86 more with a touchdown rushing in a 48-8 win at Uintah. Utah commit Mateaki Helu added 44 yards and two scores on the ground for Stansbury, which jumped out to a 48-0 lead.
7. Mountain Ridge (4-0)
One week after hanging 51 points on Wasatch, Jaxson Reiser rode an 87-yard touchdown pass to Payton Jones and a defense that kept Sky View out of the end zone to stay unbeaten with a 13-3 win over the Bobcats.
8. Farmington (4-0)
Mitch Nielsen hauled in four catches for 160 yards and three touchdowns as the Phoenix stayed unbeaten with a 35-7 rout of Weber last Thursday night. A top-20 matchup awaits this Friday against Layton.
9. Lone Peak (2-1)
The Knights were off last week after back-to-back wins over Alemany (Calif.) and Liberty (Nev.) to bounce back from a 31-10 loss to Timpview. Lone Peak is back Friday night hosting Highland (Ariz.) at 7 p.m. MDT.
10. Riverton (3-1)
The yo-yo continues for the Silverwolves, who vault into the top 10 after Easton Hicks returned a kick 95 yards for a touchdown 13 seconds after the would-be game-winning touchdown pass from Ryder Burton to Will Monney in Riverton's 22-15 win to end the Red Devils' unbeaten start to the season.
11. Pleasant Grove (3-1)
Is Region 4 back? The Vikings seem to think so after quarterback Nic Staffieri threw four touchdown passes for the third-straight week — all wins — in a 58-20 win over Wasatch.
Sneaky-good game this Friday between Pleasant Grove and Riverton.
12. Springville (3-1)
No longer undefeated, the Red Devils next travel to rival Spanish Fork before hosting upstart Provo in a pivotal Region 9 game.
13. Timpanogos (4-0)
Luke Livingston threw for 164 yards and three touchdowns, including two to Easton Bretzing, and ran for 72 yards and another score to help the Timberwolves open Region 7 play with a 42-11 win at Mountain View.
Big region won vs MVHS tonight. Twolf Defense was the star holding Bruins to 11 pts and 2 pick 6's. Our D outscored MV O!!— Luke Livingston (@LLivigston) September 3, 2022
4 TDs tonight. 3 pass, 1 Rush pic.twitter.com/v5Ne8ytkJY
- Bingham (2-2)
Dallen Martinez threw for 159 yards and two touchdowns in a loss for the Miners, who have lost back-to-back games and could desperately use a win Friday — when they host No. 5 American Fork.
15. West Jordan (3-1)
Teams have lost much worse than 47-14 to Corner Canyon than the Jaguars, who travel to Riverton on Sept. 16 for the first of three-straight road games.
16. Provo (3-1)
We promised Viewmont a spot a few weeks ago, so what would we be if we didn't make the same offer to Jamison Harward, Drew Deucher and the Bulldogs after a 35-28 win over the Vikings?
17. West (2-2)
Sesi Vailahi caught three of Isaiah SueSue's 18 passes for 151 yards and three touchdowns as the Panthers got back in the win column with a 55-8 win over Cyprus.
18. East (2-2)
Omar Shah, Jerrick Little and Nevada commit Amini Amone each scored a touchdown to help the Leopards hand Park City its first loss of the season, 21-14, and set up a date with national power IMG Academy on Friday.
19. Layton (3-1)
Davis wasn't buying any Lancers stock after Gage Butler kicked a 49-yard field goal with eight seconds left to hand Layton its first loss of the year.
20. Viewmont (3-1)
The Vikings get another chance to impress when they host undefeated Bonneville (4-0) on Friday.
Plus-1. Alta and Maple Mountain
Brank Hansell-Fotu ran for two touchdowns, and Anson Jaramillo and Anthony Cottis each added a score in the Hawks' 28-19 win. But this honor goes to the Golden Eagles, as well.
The host Maple Mountain players, cheerleaders and coaches honored Alta's Jalen Sutton with a banner, special helmet decals, a card signed by the whole team, and a special presentation that Alta coach Alema Te'o accepted on Sutton's behalf before the game, which also directed all patrons to donate to the youth's GoFundMe* after the senior suffered a spinal cord injury in a junior varsity game two weeks ago.
"It's a football family responding to a situation like this," Te'o told KSL-TV. "We're extremely grateful and such a class act, class move by them, and we're honored to be here tonight and we're honored for the support that they're giving our program."
Sutton continues to recover from the tragic accident after have a tracheotomy piece inserted recently via successful surgery, pet therapy with a bernese mountain dog at Primary Children's Hospital, and exercises to sit up in "chair" mode" in his hospital bed, his aunt Cynthia Meier wrote on the family's GoFundMe page.
"The highlight of Jalen's day was getting a visit from his high school friends and football buddies," Meier wrote Sept. 1. "They brought him balloons, cards and a huge poster that was signed by most, if not all of the students at Alta High."