PLAIN CITY — There's a whole lot of howling going on around these days.
It must be that determined, victory-devouring pack of Wolves making all that noise.
And hey, who could blame them? After all, Fremont High notched one of the greatest football victories in the history of the school Friday afternoon, knocking off two-time defending 5A champion Bingham 27-20 in a dandy of a quarterfinal duel at Moyes Field.
Senior running back Nick Vigil was the man most responsible for burying the Miners' bid for a third straight state title, as he broke loose for 256 yards rushing on 20 carries and scored three touchdowns to propel the Silver Wolves into next week's 5A semifinals against Region 1 foe Syracuse.
In a rematch of last year's 5A championship game won by Bingham, 30-7, Vigil and Co. made sure it was a different story this time around. He scored on runs of 47 yards in the first quarter and 5 yards in the third period, but it was his last touchdown that was vintage Vigil and the stuff legends are made of.
With the score tied at 20 and Fremont buried deep in its own territory, time was running out and the two teams appeared possibly headed for overtime. But he came up with the decisive score just in the 'Nick' of time.
Vigil went through the left side of the line, found some daylight and scampered past the stunned Bingham defense for a clutch 78-yard TD run with 1:36 remaining to play. Logan George's PAT kick made it 27-20.
"That was awesome. The offensive line made a huge hole on that — a semi truck could've driven through that one," Vigil said. "That was a heck of a job by the offensive line."
Then when Jordan Preator picked off a Bingham pass at his own 2-yard line with less than a minute left, and Vigil broke off another long run to get Fremont out of harm's way, all the Silver Wolves had to do was run out the clock.
And let the howling begin.
"Our offensive line got a great push all night long. They started opening up holes ... and did a great job all night of protecting me and opening up holes for me," said Vigil, who more than atoned for his fumble on Fremont's first play from scrimmage, which set up Bingham's first touchdown.
"I don't know about revenge, but it's always good to get a win and advance us to Rice-Eccles (Stadium) to play in the semifinals. As long as we're still playing, it's all good.
"We all know they're a powerhouse and they have been for a long time," Vigil said of the Miners. "That makes it good, but it's just another win. I'm real excited to get back to Rice-Eccles and make another good run, and hopefully get back to the state championship game."
After Bingham took an early 7-0 lead on Brady Lail's 8-yard TD run, Fremont tied it at 7-up on Vigil's 47-yard scoring scamper. Bingham then took a 13-7 halftime lead when Tyler Otteson picked off a Fremont pass and returned it 19 yards to paydirt, but the Wolves' Jaz Johnstun blocked the Miners' PAT kick.
Fremont forged in front midway through the third quarter, as Preator's 50-yard pass to Seth Jones put the Wolves in business and Vigil eventually slashed into the end zone from 5 yards away for a 14-13 lead.
Then it was Bingham's turn, as Drake Miller's interception near midfield paved the way for a 1-yard touchdown run by Daniel Polepoi that made it 20-14.
But Fremont refused to quit, as Cooper Kelley's passes to Rowdy Stucki and Travis Stringham vaulted the Silver Wolves downfield. Cooper's 6-yard touchdown pass to Brock Smith tied it at 20, but a missed PAT attempt left things deadlocked and set the stage for the late heriocs by Vigil and Preator.
Fremont coach Kory Bosgieter was mighty proud of his team and rightfully so, especially after they rallied three times from a touchdown deficit and overcame more than 100 yards in penalties.
"We've got dang good kids," he said. "I'm proud of our kids for staying the course and overcoming adversity. We stopped ourselves a bunch in there. We've only been talking about it since last November — stay the course, stay the course — when we face adversity, don't grab that. You stay with what you've got.
"All I know is, it's 27-20, so something must've worked. That O-line of ours is experienced, they're strong, they're big, and they're a very close group. And obviously when you hand it to No. 5 (Vigil), you've got some guys back there that are pretty good. We've got some special players.
"Nick's a tough competitor; he's just tough, and we've got a whole bunch of other guys that are darn tough, too," Bosgieter said. "I'm proud of all of our kids. We've got a lot of guys on our sidelines who are all in all the time and they don't play a down, and they work just as hard as the guys that are on the field."
And now they're all headed for Rice-Eccles Stadium for a semifinal showdown with Syracuse.
Copyright 2017, Deseret News Publishing Company