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5A football: Brighton laments missed chances in second half

Published November 22, 2013 8:02 pm

Brighton gets to within 21-13 in first half, but its defense can't keep Bingham off the field.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Brighton reciever Isaiah Kaufusi fell to his knees.

The final whistle had blown. Too many breaks had gone against his team, and too many plays remained out there on the field, unmade.

After 48 minutes of football had abolished his dream, Kaufusi dropped his facemask into the turf.

Minutes later, after hugging nearly every member of the team that beat him, Kaufusi embraced his coach, burying his face into his shoulder.

"I'm sorry, Coach," he said through tears. "I'm sorry."

After battling back from a 21-0 deficit to make it close at halftime, Kaufusi's Brighton Bengals were unable to keep Bingham's offense off the field in the second half in the Class 5A state title game Friday at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

"To come so close, it just sucks," the senior receiver said. "I mean, we worked so hard, and we definitely deserved that title. So does Bingham, but getting right to the finish line and collapsing is not a good feeling."

After getting to within 21-13 before the half on an interception return for a touchdown, the Bengals believed they were the better team and fortune was on their side.

The defense just needed a stop. But ultimately, it was one the Bengals couldn't get. The Miners burned nine minutes off the clock on the first possession of the second half for a field goal and had the ball for 18 of the final 24 minutes.

"To not get the ball forever, to not act on that momentum, it's kind of hard to keep that going," Bengal quarterback Robbie Hutchins said.

Late in the fourth, after the outcome of the game was clear, Miner safety Sky Manu intercepted a Hutchins pass and took it 62 yards for a touchdown. Players on the sidelines slowly shuffled toward the end zone, but their demeanors didn't change. The dream, finally, was dead.

"If we lose and play our best, I think the kids would feel a little bit better," Bengal coach Ryan Bullett said. "We didn't make plays, and we didn't play our best." —