Champions Straight Out of the Den

Annabel Lawrence, Staff Reporter/Sports/Investigative

Friday Night Lights. Years and years of gathering under the fluorescent stage of the football field, and the fans always return. Even as the pandemic hindered our daily lives with restrictions and shutdowns last year, this year there is only more elation within the stands.  Because no matter what may be going on in the world, there is always the refuge of the floodlights, the retreat that is the manicured grass, and the support of strangers who also love the game. On Friday Aug. 27, Timberline fans and families gathered to watch the opener of the 2021-2022 Varsity football season, and it certainly did not disappoint. 

The game started with the players sprinting from the locker room as Timberline fans erupted onto their feet. The Wolves lost the coin toss, and Borah received the kickoff on the 31 yard line. Following a third down defensive stop by Timberline, Borah punted the ball and Timberline had the football for the first time this season. It was a quick two plays before Timberline scored the first touchdown of the game and the year. The fans were stunned at the nearly-instant score, and as the call was confirmed, there was jumping and excitement, almost in a sense of bewilderment. 

It was easy to assume from the first five minutes of the game that Timberline would win this easily. However, the first half would prove to be quite the battle, despite the dominant Wolves start. When Borah received the ball after the Timberline touchdown, there wasn’t much the Lions could do on offense. After a series of tackles, Borah was finally stopped on 4th down. The Wolves had a relatively good field position at this point, and everyone prepared themselves to cheer for another touchdown. After a big third down conversion by Timberline, Borah took a timeout. The very next play, Borah intercepted a pass by Wade Zenner, the senior quarterback, and took it back to the 20 yard line. The Lions then scored their first touchdown of the night. The score was then seven to each team. It was clear that the Wolves needed a leg up, and they had their star running back, Taylor Marcum (senior), taking the Borah kick. Marcum successfully received the kick, and began his sprint down the field. He dodged tackles on all sides, maneuvering with speed and determination. He soon found himself in open space, and it was clear no player would catch him as he dashed into the endzone. The next score would be another Timberline touchdown, with Zenner running the ball into the endzone himself. If Borah wanted to respond, they would need to do it quickly. Yet with a speedy trek down the field, the Lions had their second touchdown. A set of defensive stops held the Timberline offense to just a punt following the second Borah touchdown, and Borah had the ball again. A big conversion on 3rd down for the Lions got them to the 18 yd. line quickly, and Borah tacked on another touchdown. Borah then made a gutsy decision early, by going for two points instead of the typical one extra point. Fortunately for the Lions, they got the two points and were leading for the first time in the game, making the score 22-21 in the middle of the second quarter. at (what point in the game). 

On the sideline, there was apparent worry regarding the score. Although the Wolves were only losing by one point, nothing seemed to be going right. A change needed to happen quickly to stop this Borah momentum, or else the Wolves risked the game slipping through their fingers. It was then that Zenner stepped up and helped bring Timberline back into the game, running from the Borah 44 yd. line all the way to the endzone. The score became 28-22, and the Wolves defense did not allow Borah to answer with another score during the following drive. It was then halftime, and the Wolves headed into the locker room. 

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(Photo credit: Ally Metzler)
Wide reciever Anthony Bridges (senior) scores a touchdown, making it 35-22 in the beginning of the third quarter.

The student section was more alive than ever during halftime, but many fans seemed very aware that the game was far from over. When the Wolves came in from the locker room, they looked subdued and focused, clearly motivated to get some more points. Timberline received the kick, and after a critical third down conversion wide receiver Anthony Bridges (senior) caught a Zenner pass and ran it in for the touchdown. The Wolves then boldly chose to go for an onside kick, and initially recovered it, but the call was overturned and the ball was given to Borah. The next play however, Timberline would intercept a Borah pass, but a series of sacks would lead nowhere for the Wolves offense. A string of scoreless drives would come to an end when Marcum ran from the 40 yd. line to score his second touchdown of the night, making it 41-22 near the end of the third quarter. The Wolves had settled in, and were leading comfortably. Initially, it would be Marcum who scored the final touchdown for Timberline, but the call was overturned. Instead, it was Bridges again, who caught the ball and ran it in, making it his second touchdown of the night. 

The fourth quarter was slow, and yawns were seen throughout the stands as the evening was winding down. Both teams continued to be stopped on offense, and the energy was dwindling. However, one final push by Borah within the last 40 seconds of the game would have the Lions putting up more points on the board. With only nine seconds left in the game, Borah got another touchdown through, making the final score 48-29. As the seconds dried up, players could be seen high-fiving and carrying out elaborate handshakes. The crowd continued to cheer the players on even as they headed into the locker room. Fans conversed about the game and waved goodbyes as they headed off. It had been a great game, with an exciting first half that came to a close with a dominant Wolves win. The night had been the perfect start to the Timberline season, and had all the Wolves fans hungry for more.