The hunt is on.
That's what Isaiah Nacua and his Timpview teammates declared Thursday night with a dominant 37-6 victory against Woods Cross in the Class 4A semifinal.
"We want Utah to know the message that we're out here to hunt for anybody," the senior defensive end said. "If an offense wants to step to us, that they know it's going to be a dog fight."
That hunt was swift and thorough, and Woods Cross found nowhere to hide on the field at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
The Thunderbirds (12-1) forced three turnovers on Woods Cross' first four possessions and scored a defensive touchdown on defensive back Emmett Tela's fumble recovery in the end zone.
In a season filled with dominant defensive efforts, this one perhaps was the most impressive.
"[The turnovers] were a product of speed and athleticism and hard play on defense," Timpview coach Cary Whittingham said. "I do know we have to get better before next week."
The Thunderbirds earned a matchup against unbeaten and yet-untested East in the Nov. 22 final. It's a rematch of last year's semifinal, which Timpview won en route to the 4A title.
"We know we have our work cut out for us," Tela said.
Timpview made short work of the Wildcats (11-2), holding an opponent to a touchdown or less for the seventh time in its past 10 games.
Woods Cross managed just 97 yards of total offense as it was swallowed up by an orange crush led by Tela, with his three tackles for loss and game-high 13 total tackles, and T.J. Anderberg (2 1/2 sacks).
Tailback Kendal Tu'ua scored three touchdowns two rushing and quarterback Britain Covey was dazzling on the run and efficient through the air. Covey, a junior who didn't begin the season as the starting quarterback, set career highs in completions on 21-of-26 passing for 204 yards.
"The defense continually put the offense in position to be successful," Whittingham said. "I'm a little less than pleased with the offense, but 37 points is 37 points."
Covey threw touchdown passes to Tu'ua (2 yards) and Rhett VanLeuwen (14 yards).
Now a new hunt begins. After bagging the Wildcats, Timpview turns its sights on the Leopards.
"We're going to prepare for them," Nacua said. "We know they're a good team. We're coming full steam ahead for them, too. ... We're ready. We're ready."