The Thunderbirds of Timpview went through their region with an unblemished record, finishing 8-2 overall with a Region 8 title to back up their good season.
The two will meet Friday night to open up the 4A state playoffs, with the Wildcats making the trek down to Provo in the hopes of advancing past the first round.
The Wildcats will be making their second playoff appearance in the past three years, as the team’s 2-3 region record was good enough to make them the No. 4 seed heading into the playoffs.
But history hasn’t always been kind to the Wildcats when they get there. In the team’s past two playoff appearances since 2005, the Wildcats have made it past the first round just once (in 2009 after a win over Provo).
Should they hope to change their fortunes against the Thunderbirds, they’ll likely have to do it with their potent offensive attack.
The Wildcats offense has shown that they’re able to put up numbers in bunches this season, scoring the second most points in region play (behind East) with the eighth most points scored among all 4A teams.
Leading that offense all season for Woods Cross is their left-handed quarterback Skyler Farnes, along with Sean Barton and Nick Sefakis.
Farnes, who ranks fourth in passing yards in the entire state and is third among 4A teams, is averaging more than 260 yards through the air per game this season. His team-leading 428 rushing yards with three touchdowns gives him a total of 23 combined scores this year, accounting for much of the team’s offense.
Barton, a two-way threat as a running back and receiver, racked up 358 yards on the ground to go along with nearly 800 yards receiving with 13 total touchdowns.
Sefakis, with 727 yards and nine touchdowns to his credit, hasn’t been a slouch when he catches the football either. With over 20 yards per reception, he ranks among the top 10 receivers this year in the state.
Barton and Sefakis are ranked eighth and ninth in receiving yards in the state, with Sefakis ranking ninth in touchdowns in the air.
With the Wildcats scoring nearly 27 points per game this year, those numbers will look pretty good against a Timpview defense that, besides their 8-2 record, has surrendered more than 21 points to its opponents this year.
With 214 points allowed, they rank in the middle of the pack among the 26 teams in 4A, something the Wildcats could key in on as they take the field.
Timpview’s defense is being led by linebacker Josh Burr, who leads the team in tackles (93) while racking up five sacks and getting three interceptions during the year. Senior defensive lineman Carson Rawle has made his presence known all season in the backfield, getting eight sacks to go along with 50 tackles this year.
Bentley Wilson and Tyler Solarzano, a senior and junior respectively, have been ball hawks in the secondary for the Thunderbirds this season. With eight interceptions among them, they’ve accounted for nearly half the team’s turnovers through the air.
The defense for the Wildcats will have to be wary of a duo that has accounted for much of the Thunderbirds’ offensive success this season.
Quarterback Jake Lloyd has thrown for nearly 1,900 yards this season with 23 touchdowns to his credit. His favorite target by far is Ricky Shumway, who’s caught 55 balls for more than 900 yards and has 18 of Lloyd’s touchdowns passes this season.
The Wildcats and Thunderbirds kick off at 7 p.m. Friday night.