RIVERTON — It's been a while — 25 years to be exact — since Brighton High School has won a state golf title.
The Bengals aren't there yet, but they put themselves in a great position to win their first title since 1987 by firing a 2-over-par 290 team total Monday at Riverbend Golf Course in the 5A boys tournament. That gives the Bengals an eight-shot lead over Lone Peak heading into Tuesday's final round.
The young Bengals, who don't have any seniors on their state squad, were led by juniors Andrew Reilly and Jacob Byers, who each shot 2-under-par 70s and stand in a tie for second place among the individuals.
Charlie Duensing, another junior, added a 73 and sophomore Austin Anderson a 77 in the best four-out-of-six scoring.
"We played well — we hung in there," said Bengal coach Jim Gresh. "We have six pretty good players and they've been consistent all year. There were no real surprises today."
Lone Peak, the runner-up the last three years, is still within striking distance as is Syracuse, the 2009 and 2010 state winner, which is a stroke back of the Knights at 299. Two more strokes back at 301 is Region 2 champion Viewmont, followed by Bingham (303), Davis (304) and American Fork (305).
Defending 5A champion Alta struggled on the opening day and came in with a 306 total, 16 shots off the pace in a tie for eighth place with Pleasant Grove.
"We're in pretty good shape, but there's a lot of good teams," Gresh said. "We've just got to hit good shots tomorrow."
West's Austin Banz is the individual leader after firing a sparkling 5-under-par 67. Banz made three birdies on his opening nine to turn at 33 and after back-to-back bogeys, but he came back with three more birdies to finish at 67.
Reilly and Byers are next at 70 along with Kelton Hirsch of Viewmont. American Fork's Benji Judd and Fremont's Dylan Chugg each shot 71, while seven golfers came in at even-par 72.
The 16-team tournament was cut to the low 10 teams, along with any individual golfers within 10 shots of the individual lead.
Fremont and Weber tied for 10th place and both schools will continue playing, while West Jordan, West, Copper Hills, Taylorsville and Hunter will not be back.
5A golf tournament
At Riverbend Golf Course
Day 1 results
1. Brighton 290; 2. Lone Peak 298; 3. Syracuse 299; 4. Viewmont 301; 5. Bingham 303; 6. Davis 304; 7. American Fork 305; T-8. Alta, Pleasant Grove 306; T-10. Fremont, Weber 309; 12. West Jordan 311; 13. West 313; 14. Copper Hills 338; 15. Taylorsville 343; 16. Hunter 367.Comment on this story
67 – Austin Banz, West
70 – Andrew Reilly, Brighton; Jacob Byers, Brighton; Kelton Hirsch, Viewmont
71 – Benji Judd, American Fork; Dylan Chugg, Fremont
72 – Mana Angilau, Bingham; Dan McCombie, American Fork; Kalin Peterson, West Jordan; Tanner Howard, Alta; Cameron Speyer, Syracuse; Josh Matinez, Syracuse; Henry Leng, Granger
73 – Braden Whiteley, Weber; Hunter Machovsky, Weber; Cameron Webb, Lone Peak; Charlie Duensing, Brighton
74 – Rhett Rasmussen, Alta5