4A football: Covey delivers winning TD (with video)
Timpview quarterback Britain Covey could not remember what might have been the biggest play of his life.
The elusive Thunderbird quarterback's 9-yard touchdown run with 3 minutes to play proved to be the difference in his team's 33-28 victory over East in the Class 4A state title game Friday at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
East's defense battered Covey much of the game.
"I knew I was going to get hit some, but I honestly think I have a concussion right now," the junior quarterback said. "I don't even remember who scored on that last drive. I think it was me. And it was all worth it."
After Timpview's celebration calmed down a bit, Covey still was wondering about his big play.
"I don't even know what play it was," he said. "It's kind of scary. I will go back and watch it. ... I think I called it."
One thing was certain: After a slow start, Covey made life miserable for East's defense. He eluded tackles, found wide-open receivers and seemed to make big plays when his team needed them.
He rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns, threw for 273 yards and two more scores and added 40 yards in punt returns and 49 yards in kickoff returns.
One of his biggest targets was Rhett Van Leeuwen, who caught six passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns, including a 67-yarder that occurred seconds after East had taken a 19-7 lead.
"I worked on my routes," said the receiver, who helped the Thunderbirds win their second straight state football title and their seventh since 2004. "We knew they might be on man coverage and there might not be a safety there."
Covey praised his teammates for making plays on both sides of the ball.
"When it comes to playing against these guys, you are going to have to make plays," Covey said. "Everyone on our team made the plays."
One came on East's final play when Gabe Reid seemed to come through the line untouched to sack the Leopards' Isaac Valles.
"I just made a play," he said. "That's it."
The other came with East leading 13-0 after Timpview missed its first good scoring chance, failing to get points after having a first-and-goal at the 2-yard line.
Isaiah Nacua forced a fumble deep in Leopard territory and then recovered it.
"I saw what they were doing, so I went through the gap," he said about the play. "We needed it bad, and I gave it to us."
Timpview coach Cary Whittingham echoed the sentiments of his players, who said the Thunderbirds never panicked when East went up early.
"They stepped right up on us," he said. "We knew it was going to be a long game."