SALT LAKE CITY — Watching the smallest amount of game film helped Bingham realize just how potent and dangerous Jordan could be on offense.
The Beetdiggers had already shredded a pair of tough opponents in the 5A playoffs just to make it to Rice-Eccles Stadium. They scored a total of 114 points in two weeks against Cottonwood and Davis.
The Miners became determined to not allow Jordan quarterback McCoy Hill and his receivers to pad their personal stat sheets.
That resolve showed in a 51-23 semifinal victory over the Beetdiggers on Thursday night. Jordan tallied 252 passing yards, but Hill threw three interceptions that set up three separate scoring drives for Bingham.
"We understood that Jordan was one of the best offenses in the state," senior defensive back Bridger Peck said. "They have some of the best receivers. We just took it as (a sign) we needed to get turnovers. We needed to get interceptions. We needed to do anything we could to be in the right places at the right time and just make plays."
For the second week in a row, Bingham used big defensive plays to get its offense into an early rhythm.
Logan Parker set things in motion when he ended Jordan's second drive of the first half by intercepting a tipped pass in the end zone. That was the Miners' first turnover, helping Bingham to a 7-0 lead 44 seconds into the second quarter.
Jordan was unable to make up for one mistake before Hill threw another costly interception. This time it was Peck who stepped into a passing lane and came down with the ball at the Jordan 46-yard line.
His interception set up an electrifying 30-yard touchdown run by Harvey Langi that made it 14-0.
The Miners quickly pushed it to 21-0 when Josh Smith scored on a 44-yard pass from Stefan Cantwell that came just one play after Moses Kaumatule came up with a third pick of Hill in the second quarter.
"Everybody that made an interception was in the right place," Peck said. "We had a perfect scheme to make all the plays."7 comments on this story
Jordan never quite recovered from surrendering the game's first three touchdowns as a direct result of costly turnovers. That allowed the Miners to control the ball for long stretches through all four quarters. Bingham held the ball for 30 minutes of the game's 48 minutes.
Getting such a consistently strong effort from the defense each game has allowed the Miner offense to blossom in Cantwell's opinion.
"When I go into a game, I know the defense is going to stop the other team," Cantwell said. "I have faith in them because of all our D-I players. I know they're going to get interceptions. I know they're going to get stops and then just turn the ball over to our offense to go down and score."