SALT LAKE CITY — Mountain Crest knew it had to shut down Timpview’s potent combination of quarterback Jake Lloyd and receiver Dax Raymond entering the 4A state championship at Rice-Eccles Stadium Friday.
After all, the two had only hooked up 71 times for 1,285 yards and 21 touchdowns prior to Friday's winner-take-all affair.
For the most part the Mustangs kept Lloyd and Raymond quiet. However, one pump-fake changed the complexity of the game for the Thunderbirds. Trailing 17-7 with 6:21 left in the third quarter, Lloyd baited Mountain Crest with a shoulder pump and lofted a go-route to Raymond for an 81-yard touchdown.
With newfound momentum, Timpview rallied — more than once — and ultimately handed Mountain Crest its second consecutive double-overtime loss in the championship, 38-31.
“They put (Faimafili Laulu-Pututau) on him and he was a great athlete. There were times where I thought I had (Raymond) on that post in the first half. I thought I had him,” Lloyd said. “Then as the game went on we figured (Laulu-Pututau) was going to start jumping routes and we ran that comeback and go. I pump-faked and he turned around and looked for that ball and all of the sudden it was over his head and we were up that sideline."
With the score, Raymond tied the state record set in 1989 by Logan's Richie Geertsen for most individual single-season touchdown receptions.
“That’s a little icing on the cake. That’s not important to me right now. I’m happy we won state — best team in 4A,” Raymond said. “I’ve been dreaming about this since I was born, literally, watching my brother play and living by Timpview. I’ve been to every game — it’s been my dream and we did it.”
With the added attention to Raymond, Timpview was forced to adjust with the rest of its receiving corps. The challenge was answered mightily with several receptions in live-or-die scenarios.
Britain Covey led Timpview with five catches for 92 yards and one score. Braydon Galland and Rhett Van Leeuwen combined for 94 yards on eight receptions and both came through in the clutch.
With less than two minutes in regulation, down 24-21, Van Leeuwen fully extended and corralled a 30-yard pass that ultimately set up the game-tying field goal. He suffered a broken collarbone on the play.
“Sucks to break my collarbone, but we won. That’s all that matters right now. It’s worth it,” Van Leeuwen said.
Then, on third-and-16 in the second overtime, Lloyd feathered a 24-yard pass across his shoulder to Galland who laid out amongst two defenders. The following play Lloyd scored what proved to be the winning score from 7 yards out.
“We’d been trying to hit that post all game, but we’d been just hitting the corners and the outs,” Lloyd said. “Finally I just turned back and lobbed it up and (Galland) made a heckava catch.”
Connor Mendivil, Ian Atherton and Gregson Aspinall added three receptions for 44 yards and one touchdown.
“They challenged us. They played great defense. They gave it all they could,” Lloyd said. “As the game wore on — them playing both ways — factored in. We just kept running our routes crisp, double-moves and it worked out.”
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