SALT LAKE CITY – It was the furthest the Woods Cross Wildcats football team had been in the 4A state playoffs in 20 years.
It was also the furthest they were going to get.
Against Timpview Thursday night in the 4A semi-finals, three early Woods Cross turnovers turned into two first-half touchdowns for the Thunderbirds, who rolled over the Wildcats 37-6 to earn a spot in next week’s 4A finals against East High School.
Woods Cross’ first giveaway occurred on the second play of the game, a fumble that was recovered by Timpview.
The Thunderbirds scored on their ensuing drive after Britain Covey found Kendall Tu’ua for a 27-yard touchdown pass with 8:03 remaining in the first quarter.
Timpview’s second touchdown came on a Woods Cross fumble that was recovered in the end zone. After forcing Woods Cross to punt, the snap to Xequille Harry was high and mishandled. The ball rolled to the end zone, and after a skirmish for the ball, Gabe Reid of Timpview was able to recover the ball for the touchdown and a 13-0 lead.
Woods Cross’ following possession also ended with a punt, and Timpview took advantage of a short field to score a touchdown and take a 20-0 lead.
Sandwiched between the pair of fumbles was an interception by Timpview’s Will Watanabe.
Woods Cross was able to take advantage of a Timpview turnover late in the second quarter, recovering a fumble at the Thunderbirds’ 19 yard line.
On the ensuing play, Braxton Gunther scored a touchdown from 19 yards out, making the score 20-6. Timpview kicked a field goal before the first half ended, taking a 23-6 lead at the half.
Gunther followed his late first-half touchdown on offense with an interception on defense, giving Woods Cross the ball deep in Timpview territory to start the second half. Four plays later; however, the Wildcats turned the ball over on downs.
Following the turnover, Timpview capped off a 12-play, 67-yard drive with a touchdown to take a 30-6 lead after three quarters.
Tu’ua scored the final touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter, a six-yard scamper for a 37-6 lead.
Woods Cross was held to under 100 yards of total offense, and had just 47 yards of offense by the end of the first half.
The Wildcats end the season with an 11-2 overall record. They were 5-1 in Region 6.
Timpview will face East next Friday at Rice Eccles Stadium. Kickoff is 11 a.m.