“We just didn’t play like ourselves,” Thunder Mountain offensive coordinator Brandon Mahle said of the Falcons 27-20 double overtime loss at Skyview on Friday. “You try to find the silver lining for the kids. It was a double-edged sword on Friday. We came in and made a lot of mistakes, they suited up 35 kids and they were ready to play.”
The first half of the game at Skyview was a defensive battle.
The Falcons offense committed four turnovers before halftime and the Panthers six.
“They were definitely prepared for us,” Mahle said. “But both offenses made several mistakes.”
The most crucial early momentum changer occurred with three minutes remaining in the first half.
TMHS quarterback Villi Topou put a pass into the hands of Josh Topou who was hit on the catch and the ball was lost into the end zone and recovered by Skyview.
“That would have put us up,” Mahle said. “It was a pretty good hit.”
TMHS’ John Jolly put the Falcons first points on the board in the third quarter running a sweep right for 12 yards untouched into the end zone.
Jolly also scored the game-tying touchdown with 41 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and the Falcons trailing 14-7.
The Falcons were on their own eight-yard line, looking at 91 yards of field. Jolly caught the swing pass and galloped to the left side line for the score, setting a new Thunder Mountain High School record for longest scoring play from scrimmage. Ben Jahn made both extra points.
In overtime the ball is started from an opponents 10-yard line and each team has four tries to score from 10-yards out. In the first overtime Skyview scored a touchdown in three plays but missed the extra point.
Thunder Mountain scored on two plays; with V. Topou taking a quarterback sneak in nine yards off the Falcons heavy stack formation.
With the buildup appearing to be headed left, Topou did a run to the right for the score.
In the second overtime Skyview scored on a fly sweep to the left and made the extra point. Thunder Mountain ground the ball forward for five yards in three plays and on the fourth down put a fade route into the corner of the end zone.
Jahn out jumped his defender to make the catch but landed with one foot out of bounds.
“Had that ball been 18 inches shorter it would have been triple overtime,” Mahle said. “We had a good talk with the kids after the game. We have had our ups and downs and pulled out a few games, but from here on out nothing gets taken for granted.”
This was a game that state football pundits had predicted the Falcons would win.
“Anytime you travel it is really tough to pinpoint what causes a loss,” Mahle said. “We left a lot on the table, but we have still improved drastically.”
John Jolly led the Falcons by totaling over 150 yards in combined rushes and pass receptions. Villi Topou threw for over 150-yards in the game
The Falcons travel to Ketchikan on Saturday.