Big-play Timberlake tops Moscow

Sep. 16—MOSCOW — Big plays by Timberlake in the second half proved to be the difference in a back-and-forth football game between the Tigers of Spirit Lake and the Moscow Bears on Friday night at Bear Field.

In a game that was tied 14-14 at halftime and 22-22 after the third quarter, it was Caius Tebbe's 73-yard touchdown run up the right side that put Timberlake ahead for good late in the fourth quarter in its 38-28 win.

"Timberlake, they're well coached, they run the wing-T, they're trap blocking, they're doing everything I used to do in my previous coaching stint — and it's tough," Moscow coach Rob Bafus said. "Our guys fought. There were just a couple plays they got us on."

Here's how the game went down:

A back-and-forth game

Moscow (1-3) struck first just four plays into the game on a 21-yard, toe-tapping touchdown catch by wide receiver Sam Young on a pass from quarterback Noah Velasco.

Timberlake (3-2) punched back with a 16-yard rushing TD by Tebbe to cap a 13-play, 70-yard drive, and the race was on.

Timberlake's three big plays

Timberlake had three second-half touchdowns that went for more than 50 yards, which proved to be the difference in the game.

And each one came from one of the Tigers three versatile running backs.

First, it was Cooper Lenz with an 80-yard kickoff return TD to start the third quarter for a 22-14 Tigers' lead.

Later was Tebbe's 73-yard TD in which he broke through on the right side and out ran the second level of the defense for the score.

Finally, Timberlake's Vaughn Higgins rumbled for a 55-yard touchdown up the middle with 2:28 left that all but iced the game at 38-22.

The running back trio of Tebbe, Lenz and Higgins combined for more than 400 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns.

"We worked hard and we kept pushing," Tebbe said. "Thanks to all the blockers — we couldn't have done it without our line at all."

Moscow's Isakson has himself a game

The biggest bright spot for Moscow was the play of wide receiver Connor Isakson.

The junior finished with eight catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns, and also had a key pass deflection in the end zone on a Timberlake fourth-down play.

He was the favorite target of Velasco, who tallied a stat line of 20-of-40 passing for 287 yards, four total touchdowns (one rushing) and two interceptions.

Velasco hit Isakson for a 41-yard score in the second quarter and a 19-yard jump-ball TD as he was being hit as time expired in the fourth quarter.

"I could talk all night long about Connor Isakson," Bafus said. "He's everything that we want in a competitor and a human being, more importantly. ... The whole team looks up to him because he's just a baller."

Timberlake 8 6 8 16—38

Moscow 6 8 8 6 — 28

First Quarter

Moscow — Sam Young 21 pass from Noah Velasco (kick failed), 10:46.

Timberlake — Caius Tebbe 16 run (Cooper Lenz run), 5:38.

Second Quarter

Moscow — Connor Isakson 41 pass from Velasco (Levi Anderson pass from Velasco), 10:41.

Timberlake — Jacob Yetter 7 pass from Cole Meidinger (kick failed), 0:01.

Third Quarter

Timberlake — Lenz 80 kickoff return (Tebbe run), 11:44.

Moscow — Velasco 3 run (Keaton Frei pass from Velasco), 6:30.

Fourth Quarter

Timberlake — Tebbe 73 run (Vaughn Higgins run), 3:47.

Timberlake — Higgins 55 run (Lenz run), 2:28.

Moscow — Isakson 19 pass from Velasco (pass failed), 0:00.


RUSHING — Timberlake: Tebbe 10-122, Higgins 16-109, 11-40, Johnathan Hansen 1-2, Meidinger 2-(-6). Moscow: Scotty Needham 6-40, Eby Qualls 8-22, Aiden Prakash 4-8, Velasco 10-5.

PASSING — Timberlake: Meidinger 12-19-1—142. Moscow: Velasco 20-40-2—287.

RECEIVING — Timberlake: Yetter 7-97, Lenz 2-33, Braden McDougall 2-15, Hansen 1-(-3). Moscow: Isakson 8-147, Young 4-64, Cadan Tiegen 2-30, Needham 1-12, Anderson 2-20, Frei 3-14.