Prep football: Alta squeezes past rival Bingham, 17-16
In the fourth quarter, Bingham was finally looking like the powerhouse that teams have become accustomed to seeing.
The Miners had driven 80 yards on 10 runs against Alta for a touchdown with 3:32 left in the game. They were on the verge of tying up the score, until something very un-Bingham happened.
A botched extra-point attempt led to a pass one that found the hands of Alta defensive back Bridger Pennington. He sprinted downfield, carefree as he realized that finally, the Hawks had done what they couldn't the last four times they played the Miners.
"We told the whole defense to dig deep, find something more," Pennington said. "We did on that last play."
Under the lights at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Alta finally found some crunch-time moxie to top Bingham 17-16 in the fourth quarter of the Black and Blue Classic on Saturday night.
After foiling Bingham's extra point that might've forced overtime, the Hawks offense took the field again to roll the time off the clock. It was nothing a few runs by Max Broman and a clutch fourth-down catch by Harrison Handley couldn't take care of.
As Chipper Lucero took his final knee, the Alta faithful roared.
"Our team played amazing," Broman said. "There's no certain person that was the best. Our whole team came out and played strong, especially our defense."
The winning score came in the third quarter, as defensive lineman Brock Davies wrapped around Bingham quarterback Coleman Trout for the third time in the game. The ball came loose, rolling back until Broman picked it up in the end zone.
The Miners' final drive was something of an aberration for the game, one in which Trout struggled and running back Tonga Manu was clogged up on many of his carries. By contrast, the Alta unit seemed to gel well, as Lucero racked up 171 yards passing, and Broman picked up 103 on the ground.
But Jentzen Bowles gave life to the Bingham offense, driving 42 yards on only four carries to put the Miners on the cusp of a score. Manu reached across the goal line to put Bingham within a point.
Then it fell apart. The Hawks couldn't believe their luck.
"I didn't [expect the two-point conversion] at all. It's just how it goes sometimes," Pennington said. "I thought it was gonna be a touchdown, but it turned out to be the win. That's what we want."
Bingham struck first in the game, recovering a first-quarter bad snap on a punt attempt by Alta. The Miners couldn't get into the end zone, but booted a 25-yard field goal that gave them a 3-0 lead.
But the Hawks soon flashed their offensive prowess, kicking a chip-shot field goal after a 73-yard drive, then stringing together a 64-yard drive capped by a short run by Mack Richards.
The Hawks had a chance to build on the 10-3 lead in the final minutes of the half, but Lucero underthrew a pass to the end zone that was intercepted by Bingham. The turnover sparked a rare outburst by the Miner offense, which drove down the field in the final 1:21 particularly on a 47-yard reception by Hayden Weichers to tie up the game before haltime.
Alta's victory ended Bingham's streak of four consecutive wins in the series, a fresh spin on a series that had been one way for the past few years.
Said Broman: "We're keeping this rivalry alive."
Storylines Alta edges Bingham
R The Hawks beat the Miners for the first time in five years in their rivalry game, 17-16.