South Jordan • Bingham’s defense met every challenge Friday night and helped deliver its biggest win of the season.
The top-ranked Miners intercepted four passes and returned two for touchdowns in a methodical 28-10 victory over visiting No. 2 Lone Peak.
Tanner Merrill picked off two Brock Jones passes, including one that he returned 46 yards for a touchdown on the game’s third play.
“They came out with the motto, ‘Repeat 2015’ for when they beat us in the semifinals, and that really angered us,” the senior cornerback said. “We wanted to set the tone early, and that definitely did it.”
Junior Tafuna had a 40-yard return for a score in the fourth quarter, and the Miners defense had a first-half goal-line stand to turn back the Knights (5-2, 1-1 Region 4) in a rematch of last year’s Class 5A state title game.
It was Bingham’s 21st consecutive victory, dating back to a loss to Lone Peak in the 2015 state semifinal. It was also the Miners’ 24 straight regular-season victory and gave them 28 wins in their past 29 games.
“We’re finding ways to capitalize on some strategy,” Bingham coach John Lambourne said. “That’s a good football team. For me, it’s about making one more play on each possession. [Doing that] in two situations being six points, that’s just huge.”
BINGHAM 28, LONE PEAK 10
• Bingham intercepts four passes and returns two for touchdowns to win the battle of the top two teams in Class 6A.
• The Miners extend their winning streak to 21 games, including three in a row against Lone Peak since losing to the Knights in the 2015 state semifinals.
• Lone Peak forces one turnover and blocks a punt, but only manages one touchdown — an 11-yard reception by Tommy Doman.
The Miners made a point to jam receivers at the line of scrimmage, and it disrupted the Knights’ quick-pass offense.
“We wanted to emphasize the press,” Merrill said. “They average like 50 points a game. This means a lot.”
Lone Peak still amassed big chunks of yardage — 240 of their 268 yards were through the air — but Bingham (7-0, 3-0) made big plays when it needed to.
Case in point: After Lone Peak blocked a punt and set up at the Miners’ 12-yard line with 2 minutes, 47 seconds to go and down 21-10, Miners senior linebacker Kobi Matagi wrestled the ball from a Knights receiver for Bingham’s fourth and final interception.
Ryan Wood connected with Dax Milne for a 77-yard touchdown that sealed the victory four plays later.