Olympus (7-3) at Timpview (7-2)
4A state tournament first round
Friday, 3 p.m.
Parry's Power Guide: Timpview 34.5
All-time series: Series tied 1-1
Coach vs. Coach: Olympus' Mike Smith and Timpview's Louis Wong, first meeting
Last meeting: 4A semifinal, Nov. 13, 1998 — Olympus 33, Timpview 20
It isn't always the star players that make a championship team.
In fact, according to Timpview coach Louis Wong, a big part of the Thunderbirds success in winning the last three state titles, and four of the last five, are contributions from players that don't even see the field when it comes game time.
"Our twos (JV players) do a great job of getting the ones (varsity) ready to go," said Wong. "They try to run our opponents stuff and get the guys ready for what they are going to see on the field. Our philosophy is that the more prepared you are, the less you will hesitate, and if you don't hesitate, you have a huge advantage.
"Our twos work very hard all year, but they do an especially good job when the playoffs roll around and in practice we go almost all ones versus twos where during the regular season we do a lot of ones against ones. Our JV team is good. I think in the regular season if you put them up against a lot of the other team's varsity teams, they would be competitive."
There is no secret that until someone knocks them off the T-birds are the team to beat. Although its state record 36-game winning streak came to a close, and the team lost another game to 5A power Alta, in the preseason, Timpview has been gaining momentum ever since and has run off a six-game winning streak where it has averaged a 53-8 margin in doing so.
"I would like to think we are playing our best football right now," said Wong. "We had a lot of young guys playing at the beginning of the year, and we had to replace Bronson (Kaufusi an all-state defensive end that was lost to a torn ACL), but since then, we have had some guys come back and guys stepping up and growing as players. I would have to say that we are peaking at the right time."
One of the players that have grown as the season has gone on is quarterback Trevor Brown.
"He was splitting time at the beginning of the year, but he has become a great quarterback for us," said Wong. "He is big, fast, makes great reads and is really learning what we want him to do and executing now. He understands his progressions now that he has nine games under his belt."
The Titans will need a big game from their all-everything quarterback Spencer Harris if they want to pull the upset. Harris has carried the ball 143 times for 632 yards and two scores, and he has thrown 166 times, completing 94 for 973 yards and eight touchdowns. He is the cog that makes the team go, especially since early-season hero Terry Isaia went down.
Olympus finished fourth in Region 6 after losses to Woods Cross, Highland and Bountiful, so it will need to play its best game of the year if it wants to end the T-birds bid for a four-peat.
Olympus statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 21.0 ppg
Scoring defense: 16.1 ppg
Passing leader: Spencer Harris (94-166, 56.6%, 973 yards, 8 TDs)
Rushing leader: Terry Isaia (106 carries, 551 yards, 7 TDs)
Receiving leader: Brandon Brown (22 catches, 223 yards, 3 TDs)
Tackles leader: N/A
Sacks leader: Jace Peterson (7 sacks)
Interceptions leader: Sam Williams (5 interceptions)
Timpview statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 41.9 ppg
Scoring defense: 13.8 ppg
Passing leader: Trevor Brown (100-147, 68.0%, 1,718 yards, 18 TDs)
Rushing leader: Trevor Brown (71 carries, 457 yards, 8 TDs)
Receiving leader: Jacob Hatch (18 catches, 484 yards, 7 TDs)
Sacks leader: 5 tied at 2
Interceptions leader: Chris Badger, Kapena Clark (2 interceptions)