What will it take for Timberline football to win its first playoff game?
The Idaho Statesman is previewing high school football teams and conferences in the Treasure Valley area for 18 days leading up to the season, which starts Aug. 26. Follow IdahoStatesman.com for a list of all the previews.
Timberline has rebuilt its program under coach Kirk Copeland, reaching the playoffs for three straight years. But the Wolves are still searching for their first playoff victory in school history, and they’ll look for it this season with a young roster rebuilding on the fly.
Timberline returns four starters on offense and three from the 5A Southern Idaho Conference’s third-ranked defense last season (15.1 points per game).
“Fundamentally, we’re just not there right now,” Copeland said. “Technique wise, we’re not sound right now. … We have some potential, but we have a long, long way to go.”
Three quarterbacks are battling for the starting spot to lead a new, quick-strike aerial attack — senior Matt Crawford, junior Connor Riddle and sophomore Layton Wagner.
The change in style gives Timberline’s new offensive line — only one returning part-time starter, David Holbrook — time to jell and for the Wolves to take advantage of an elusive receiving group led by Ryan Uria, Trystan Thelander and Iven Etienne.
Riddle will slide in at receiver if he’s not at quarterback, and big tight end Aaron Crockett will pose a threat out wide in spread packages.
“I’ve got a couple guys with a lot of quickness,” Copeland said. “So if we can get them the ball in space, hopefully they use that quickness correctly and go get us a few more yards.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Matt Roberts, RB
He led the Wolves in rushing (354 yards) last season despite splitting carries. He’ll see a larger role this season.
Ryan Uria, WR
The 5-9, 165-pound senior brings a quick first step and the ability to shake tacklers to a quick passing attack.
Aaron Crockett, TE
Timberline will move the 6-3, 225-pound senior around, even lining him out wide in their spread packages.
Stevie Youngerman IV, SS
The 5-10, 170-pound senior has grown up as a leader. He’s adept at both supporting the run and dropping into coverage.
at Boise (DLP)
Rocky Mountain* (DLP)
at Borah* (DLP)
* pod game
Last year: 7-3, 3-2 5A SIC Pod A
Playoffs: Lost to Madison 49-7 in first round
Coach: Kirk Copeland, seventh season
Record at school: 24-33
Stadium: Dona Larsen Park