Stansbury’s football team stunned Class 5A power Timpview Wednesday night at home, 49-31, after it scrambled to find an opponent after the game at Uintah was cancelled.
Stansbury coach Eric Alder said he went looking for a team to play and Timpview responded.
“We needed to play football and we needed to play a quality opponent,” he said.
When Timpview said it wanted to play, coaches deliberated for a while, but in the end it was the players who wanted the challenge of going up against the Thunderbirds.
“Some of our senior leaders got together, they looked at the challenge and didn’t want to turn it down,” Alder said.
“I’ve never been more proud of a group of boys that wanted to embrace a challenge and had the confidence in themselves to get it done and they did it,” the coach said.
The Stallions (7-2, 4-1 Region 10) fell behind early 10-0 and then rallied for three consecutive touchdowns to go up 21-10.
Stansbury drove 80 yards for its first touchdown. A 25-yard completion to Koy McGee put the ball at midfield, followed by a long run from Nate Bushnell. Quarterback Kru Huxford zipped a 38-yard pass to Cayden Clark and the Stallions were on the board down 10-7.
Stansbury drove the length of the field to take the lead at 14-10. The big play of the drive came when Bushnell sprinted 54 yards to the end zone.
Moments later, Stansbury increased the lead to 21-10 when Tyson Tripp picked off a Timpview pass and raced 54 yards for a third touchdown.
Timpview (4-4, 3-0 Region 7) sliced the lead to 21-17 behind strong running from Targhee Lambson. Misi Tuha capped off a long drive with a 1-yard touchdown run with 3:08 until halftime.
Late in the first half, Timpview used timeouts on defense, but it only preserved time for the Stallions.
Bushnell was able to run for a first down on third-and-4 to keep the drive alive at midfield. As time wound down, Clark came up with another great catch at the Timpview 29. Huxford kept for 10 more yards, and it was Stansbury calling a timeout to preserve time.
With 13 seconds until halftime, Huxford faked a handoff and tossed 4 yards to Clark for Stansbury’s fourth touchdown and a 28-17 lead at intermission.
Adversity struck the Stallions on their first two possessions of the second half and Timpview took advantage.
A sack and penalty forced the Stallions to punt from the back of their end zone. Chaid Allred took the punt and ran 49 yards for a Timpview TD to make it 28-24. The visitors then came up with an interception on the next series, followed by a 31-yard TD pass to Jaxon Allred to give the Thunderbirds a 31-28 lead with 8:13 remaining in the third quarter.
The Stallions scored the final three touchdowns of the game and the locker room celebration was about to begin.
Stansbury drove the length of the field for a go-ahead score with a mix of run and pass that kept the Thunderbirds on their heels. Timpview toughened near the goal line, but the Stallions came through on a crucial fourth down when Huxford dumped off a 3-yard TD pass to Pae Tia to give the lead back to the home team at 35-31 with 3:31 remaining in the third quarter.
The Stallions were soon back on offense in great field position when Bobby Nicholas recovered a fumble at the Timpview 21.
Three plays later, Huxford hit Bushnell on a 9-yard TD pass to push the lead to 42-31.
The Stallions slowed down the offense and moved the chains to protect the lead in the fourth quarter. They added a final score on a Huxford 1-yard run.
The game was a go by 4 p.m. Tuesday. Coaches and players made adjustments, watched film and put together a game plan. The Stallions even had a short practice before the game.
“We were disappointed when Mountain View cancelled on us and then would not reschedule. I’m so happy the way our kids embraced this challenge — their confidence was greater than mine,” the coach said.