Touchdowns were difficult to come by Friday at Dona Larsen Park. The Boise and Timberline football teams racked up yardage, but missed red-zone opportunities kept points at a premium.
With the game tied late in the fourth quarter, Timberline senior quarterback Michael Stefanic opted to get it all in one chunk, changing the play at the line of scrimmage and chucking a bomb to sophomore Terek Zimmerman. The all-in bet worked perfectly as Zimmerman ran untouched for a 65-yard TD, the deciding play in a hard-fought 21-14 victory.
We were actually going to run a draw, but we had an option where if I saw what I did see on the field, we could check to a different play, Stefanic said. Luckily it worked out the way we wanted it to.
The strike to Zimmerman was the only score in the second half. Stefanic threw two TD passes, and running backs Tyus Zimmerman (135) and Bambam Phanmaha (124) each eclipsed 100 yards for Timberline (4-3), which strengthened its hold on the fifth and final playoff spot in the 5A Southern Idaho Conference.
Senior quarterback Tyler Cox threw for 293 yards and two TDs for Boise (1-6), which drove to the Timberline 17 in the closing seconds but could get no closer as a desperation toss to the end zone fell incomplete.
Our defense was on the field a long time, Timberline coach Kirk Copeland said. Boise ran a ton of plays on us, but we were able to come up with a couple crucial stops when we needed them.
Timberline scored on the games opening drive on Phanmahas 3-yard plunge.
Boise responded with a quick strike when Cox hit senior Cameron Mayne for a nifty 74-yard catch-and-run to tie the game.
In the second quarter, the teams exchanged long TD drives, capped by a 9-yard pass from Cox to junior Danny Moore and a 10-yard pass from Stefanic to junior Riley Amundson. A promising Boise drive ended in an interception just before halftime as the teams went into the locker room deadlocked 14-14.
Boise picked off two passes in the first half including an odd play where linebacker JB Durham grabbed the ball off the back of a receiver who was lying on the turf while Timberlines defense racked up five of its seven sacks before halftime.
Both teams saw drives end painfully close to the goal line in the second half. Cox had a third-quarter pass intercepted by Corey Krueger at the 2 and Timberline came up short twice, failing to punch it in on fourth-and-goal from the 2 and losing a fumble at the 1, with Durham recovering for Boise.
The near-misses made Terek Zimmermans winning sprint to the end zone all the more rewarding.
It was just a perfect pass, a perfect setup, Zimmerman said. That play, and the whole game, really, was just an amazing experience.