Prep football: Bingham subdues Colo. power in OT
Highlands Ranch, Colo. • The elated Bingham fan danced on the giant V painted into the turf at Valor Christian High School, waving around her ocean blue flag Saturday night.
The Miners beat Colorado's best team, the four-time Class 5A champion Valor Christian Eagles, in overtime for the second year in a row.
But this year was different.
There was no goal-line stand.
There was freshman defensive lineman Langi Tuifua bursting through the Valor Christian offensive line on what looked like a sure 20-yard field goal at the end of regulation.
There was freshman long snapper Brigham Tuatagaloa with the perfect snap in overtime. There was junior kicker Chayden Johnston booting the game-winning 26-yard field goal to stun the Eagles.
Bingham's 24-21 overtime win against the Colorado powerhouse featured Division I talent across the board trading jabs, touchdowns and countering every time.
Long after Johnston's kick sealed Bingham's 3-0 start, Valor Christian coach Rod Sherman gathered players from both teams as fans looked on.
"Maybe next year," Sherman quipped, "we can end in a tie."
The Miners overcame a 14-0 start to score 21 unanswered points thanks to their junior quarterback Kyle Gearig, who was making just his third career start.
"Our kids just compete," Bingham coach Dave Peck said. "Even when we got behind, it was never like, 'This game is over.' It was, 'Let's get back in it.' What a great win."
Valor stonewalled a Bingham fourth-and-1 attempt on the Valor 1-yard line late in the third quarter. The Bingham front line, gassed from chasing Eagle star Christian McCaffrey around the field all night, forced a fumble in the end zone on the next play. Nick Heninger recovered to give the Miners a 21-14 lead.
McCaffrey's 10-yard TD grab in the fourth quarter knotted the score 21-21.
It eventually came to the long arms of Tuifua, the hands of Tuatagaloa and the foot of Johnston.
"We all know what he's capable of," Gearig said. "He has one of the strongest legs the program has ever seen. I was just praying for him."
Johnston took care of his job, sending the Bingham sideline into a frenzy.
"I just swung through," he said. "Just did what I know how to do."
Storylines Bingham 24, Valor Christian 21 (OT)
R Bingham junior Chayden Johnston kicks a 26-yard field goal in overtime to end the game.
• The Miners overcomes an early 14-0 deficit behind two TD passes from junior QB Kyle Gearig.