SOUTH JORDAN — It took the Bingham Miners a little while to hit their stride, but when they did, they overwhelmed their opponent.
Six turnovers and a furious three-minute period early in the second half all but put Bonneville (Idaho) away. Bingham ultimately came out on top 42-7, but the game was far tougher than the score showed.
"I really liked the way we settled in and just started playing," said Bingham coach Dave Peck. "You never know what's going to happen in game one. It's sort of like Christmas — you open the present ... and hope it's good. We wore on them a bit in the second half and it made the difference."
Bonneville was the beneficiary of the game's first turnover, which came on Bingham's second play from scrimmage. Six plays later running back Lincoln Clayton ran it in from 1 yard out to give the Bees a 7-0 lead with 7:48 remaining in the first quarter.
Bingham responded immediately with a nine-play, 80-yard drive that was capped off with a Scott Nichols 1-yard touchdown run.
From there Bingham staved off two Bonneville drives deep in the Miners' territory and added another score to go up 14-7 at the half.
The back-and-forth action that defined the first half changed dramatically in the second half.
Just two minutes into the third quarter, Bingham quarterback Kyle Gearig hit a streaking Dalton Schultz down the sideline for a 63-yard touchdown.
A Bonneville fumble on the Bees' next possession and a blocked punt on the possession after that led to a couple of quick Bingham touchdowns.
From there, the route was on.
"Turnovers played a huge difference," Peck said. "I told our guys at the half that I didn't like the way we played, that we were a lot better team than what we played."
Whether it was defensive lineman Mohanrai Toki forcing a fumble deep in Bonneville's territory or linebacker Nick Heninger intercepting a pass deep in Bingham's territory, Peck's defense stepped up when it mattered.
"What i did like though is that we found a way to get ourselves out of trouble, and that is the mark of a good team," Peck said. "I like how our defense played and competed."
Bingham next faces Herriman this Friday.
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