Sandy • It seemed as though Scott Nichols’ legs didn’t stop moving Friday night.
The Bingham senior running back bounced off and ran over Jordan tacklers from start to finish, helping the Miners roll to a 48-27 Region 3 victory.
Nichols scored five touchdowns — three on the ground, one on a 90-yard kickoff return and the last on a pass from Kyle Gearig — as Bingham (8-0, 3-0) looked every bit like the top team in the state.
“It puts us on top, and that’s a good feeling,” said Nichols, who finished with 198 yards on 23 carries. “Everyone’s shooting for us now. We just went out and worked hard.”
Bingham coach Dave Peck spoke after the game about Nichols’ legendary status in the weight room and how he brings the same approach to the field.
“I think he’s the best tailback in the state,” Peck said. “He’s the hardest-working kid I’ve coached in 30 years. He’s unbelievable when it comes to work ethic. He leads by example.”
Nichols scored on runs of 13, 11 and 53 yards, each time breaking tackles near the line of scrimmage in front of an audience that included Stanford coach David Shaw. Nichols’ kickoff return was just the answer the Miners needed after Jordan (4-4, 2-1) moved freely down the field on the game’s opening touchdown drive.
Bingham’s defense went to a “bend-don’t-break” approach from there, and it held the high-scoring Beetdiggers in check. Quarterback Austin Kafentzis had four passes intercepted, and Bingham forced a fumble for the fifth turnover of the night. Bingham linebacker Vaka Vehikite grabbed two of the four interceptions.
Kafentzis scored three rushing touchdowns (12, 10 and 10 yards) and threw a 5-yard scoring pass to Tayler Johnson in the first quarter.
Bingham appears to have cleared one of its last hurdles on its way to a second unbeaten regular season in four years. The Miners play Copper Hills (1-7) and Alta (3-4) to close the regular season.