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Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning News
Alta High's Jared Fehr (5) takes down Bingham's Sam Langi with help from Mitch Alm (8).

There is no question that when the UHSAA first rolled out its rotating brackets for the state football tournament this season, people were disappointed to see that the Region 2 and Region 3 champions were slated to meet in the semifinals.

The letdown was because they knew that Alta and Bingham should once again be the cream of the crop in 5A this year — they were right. They also remembered 2006's championship game played in front of around 20,000 people between the two schools that has been labeled a classic and one of the best final games in state history — a game Bingham won 21-19 when it stopped a two-point conversion in the final seconds.

The rivalry continues Friday at 2:30 p.m. at Rice-Eccles Stadium as the matchup everyone had circled has come to fruition.

"We figured that it would get to the two of us," said Alta defensive lineman Derek Keller. "It is going to be a battle, a great rematch."

Bingham figures to hold the upper hand mentally. Not only did the Miners win the state title a year ago, but they also won a preseason contest between the two, 23-20. Of course, a preseason game is a much different occasion than a semifinal.

"I don't really think that matters at all," said coach Les Hamilton. "We are a different team now than both last year and how we were at the beginning of the season. We are back and as healthy as we have been, and we are looking for a true battle of two great teams."

Besides featuring two of the top offenses and defenses in the state, the game features two of the state's top running backs in Sausan Shakerin of Alta and Sam Langi from Bingham. Shakerin slashed, powered and sped his way to 276 yards in last season's thriller and was later named the 2006 Deseret Morning News Mr. Football. He has struggled through injuries to both knees in this, his senior season, but appears to be rounding into top form physically.

"What a stud," said Hamilton of his star. "We have been riding the legs of him pretty hard lately, and he has been coming through when it counts most."

Langi has been the workhorse of the Miners offense. He has carried the ball for 1,711 yards and 22 scores and is the first option for the defending champions.

Which of the two stars will impose his will on the other team? Only what happens on the field Friday will tell.

"I am so excited for it," said Shakerin. "We didn't take care of business the last couple of times we met, so we need to come out and prove that we can play with them. It should be another great game, even if it is a week too soon."

ALTA (11-1) vs. BINGHAM (11-1)

Friday, 2:30 p.m. — Rice-Eccles Stadium (Field Turf) — Salt Lake City

Ticket information: Students can purchase tickets from high school. Fans can purchase tickets at U. ticket office

TV: KJZZ (live)

Radio: AM1230 — Parry's Power Guide: Alta by 3

ALTA HAWKS DEPTH CHART

OFFENSE

QB . . . . . RYAN ROSENVALL . . . . . 9

Jordan Brown . . . . . 13

RB . . . . . SAUSAN SHAKERIN . . . . . 22

Chaz Nelson . . . . . 6

RB . . . . . PARKER WALBECK . . . . . 1

Shayne Day . . . . . 32

WR . . . . . PARKER WEBSTER . . . . . 10

Sam Metikingi . . . . . 28

WR . . . . . SAM TEHAN . . . . . 21

Jordan Middlesworth . . . . . 23

TE . . . . . BRADY HUNT . . . . . 99

Jet Tomlinson . . . . . 84

LT . . . . . PARKER ERICKSON . . . . . 79

Jordan Davidson . . . . . 70

LG . . . . . KEVIN FORTIN . . . . . 53

Kyle Clark . . . . . 91

C . . . . . SPENCER JOHNSON . . . . . 64

Landon Weaver . . . . . 72

RG . . . . . JORDAN BETZ . . . . . 52

Jaren McCann . . . . . 58

RT . . . . . KEITH HANTLA . . . . . 75

Taylot Bass . . . . . 63

PK . . . . . ADAM FROGLEY . . . . . 86

Jared Fehr . . . . . 5

KR . . . . . PARKER WALBECK . . . . . 1

SHAYNE DAY . . . . . 32

DEFENSE

DE . . . . . DEREK KELLER . . . . . 92

Dexter Davies . . . . . 96

NG . . . . . LANDON MORTINSON . . . . . 94

Taylor Myers . . . . . 51

DE . . . . . BRADY DAVIES . . . . . 81

Cody Palmer . . . . . 49

OLB . . . . . BOO ANDERSON . . . . . 45

Sean Moore . . . . . 47

MLB . . . . . JEFFERSON COURT . . . . . 33

A'l Ho-Ching . . . . . 54

OLB . . . . . JARED ANDERSON . . . . . 31

Garret Smart . . . . . 55

SS . . . . . MITCH ALM . . . . . 8

Justin Stevens . . . . . 20

SS . . . . . KADEN CARLI . . . . . 11

Brandon Weiss . . . . . 19

FS . . . . . JARED FEHR . . . . . 5

Ryan Lee . . . . . 2

CB . . . . . SPENCER CROXTON . . . . . 16

Trey Phillips . . . . . 7

CB . . . . . BRANTLY DUNN . . . . . 25

Trey Phillips . . . . . 7

P . . . . . JACE BECKSTROM . . . . . 48

Parker Webster . . . . . 10

PR . . . . . PARKER WALBECK . . . . . 1

SAUSAN SHAKERIN . . . . . 22

BINGHAM MINERS DEPTH CHART

OFFENSE

QB . . . . . LOGAN CANTWELL . . . . . 22

Jake Soffe . . . . . 11

TB . . . . . SAM LANGI . . . . . 20

TJ Ford . . . . . 3

FB . . . . . IONA PRITCHARD . . . . . 8

LT FILIAGA . . . . . 42

WR . . . . . LOGAN LUDWIG . . . . . 15

Tyler Conrad . . . . . 11

WR . . . . . MIKE EDMUNDS . . . . . 80

Kenny Schreiner . . . . . 85

TE . . . . . AUSTIN HOLT . . . . . 88

Remington Peck . . . . . 44

LT . . . . . GREG KROLL . . . . . 60

Nick Reay . . . . . 77

LG . . . . . JACKSON OXLEY . . . . . 53

Bradyn Heap . . . . . 62

C . . . . . MATT VALENZUELA . . . . . 69

Conner Simmons . . . . . 57

RG . . . . . TUNI KANUCH . . . . . 78

Tame Fangupo . . . . . 52

RT . . . . . DEREK TUIMAUGA . . . . . 71

Brandon Taukeiaho . . . . . 70

PK . . . . . JUSTIN SORENSEN . . . . . 18

Braeden Loveless . . . . . 36

KR . . . . . TJ FORD . . . . . 3

DEFENSE

DE . . . . . CHANCE WILLIAMS . . . . . 99

Braydon Cannon . . . . . 54

NG . . . . . VINCE GIRON . . . . . 90

Nick Reay . . . . . 77

DT . . . . . SHISHIR RIMAL . . . . . 58

Tame Fangupo . . . . . 52

OLB . . . . . REMINGTON PECK . . . . . 44

Sosiua Pikula . . . . . 13

MLB . . . . . IONA PRITCHARD . . . . . 8

Austin Roothooff . . . . . 25

MLB . . . . . LT FILIAGA . . . . . 42

Chase Spencer . . . . . 37

OLB . . . . . FORREST DABB . . . . . 49

Steven Christensen . . . . . 10

CB . . . . . T.J. FORD . . . . . 3

Colton Yack . . . . . 1

FS . . . . . JUSTIN PECK . . . . . 2

Tyler Conrad . . . . . 11

SS . . . . . LOGAN LUDWIG . . . . . 15

Kaelen Gustafson . . . . . 87

CB . . . . . CHRIS CHAUS . . . . . 9

Mike Edmunds . . . . . 80

P . . . . . JUSTIN SORENSEN . . . . . 18

Chad Isom . . . . . 84

PR . . . . . TJ FORD . . . . . 3

Justin Peck . . . . . 2

ALTA GAME-BY-GAME

08/17/07 ... Alta 44, Spanish Fork 7

08/24/07 ... Bingham 23, Alta 20

09/01/07 ... Alta 28, Clovis East, Calif. 12

09/07/07 ... Alta 53, Hunter 12

09/14/07 ... Alta 52, Grant, Calif. 33

09/21/07 ... Alta 49, Skyline 7

09/28/07 ... Alta 24, Brighton 7

10/05/07 ... Alta 64, Hillcrest 7

10/12/07 ... Alta 55, Taylorsville 7

10/19/07 ... Alta 35, Jordan 12

10/26/07 ... Alta 56, Kearns 10

12/2/07 ... Alta 35, Timpanogos 28

BINGHAM GAME-BY-GAME

08/17/07 ... Bingham 34, Skyline 7

08/24/07 ... Bingham 23, Alta 20

09/01/07 ... Bingham 27, Kahuku, Hawaii 0

09/07/07 ... Jordan 36, Bingham 35

09/14/07 ... Bingham 31, Lone Peak 3

09/21/07 ... Bingham 44, West Jordan 13

09/27/07 ... Bingham 40, Kearns 6

10/04/07 ... Bingham 42, Riverton 12

10/12/07 ... Bingham 30, Hunter 7

10/18/07 ... Bingham 55, Copper Hills 14

10/27/07 ... Bingham 42, Fremont 6

11/2/07 ... Bingham 45, Davis 7

ALTA STATS

Scoring offense: 42.9 ppg

Scoring defense: 13.8 ppg

Passing leader: Ryan Rosenvall (102-147, 69.4%, 1,477, 20 TDs)

Rushing leader: Sausan Shakerin (121 rushes, 803 yards, 11 TDs)

Tackles leader: Jordan Anderson (88), Jefferson Court (87)

Sacks leader: Derek Keller (8 1/2)

Interceptions leader: Brantley Dunn (5 ints)

BINGHAM STATS

Scoring offense: 37.3 ppg

Scoring defense: 10.9 ppg

Passing leader: Logan Cantwell (45-95, 47.4%, 772 yards, 10 TDs)

Rushing leader: Sam Langi (186 rushes, 1,711 yards, 22 TDs)

Receiving leader: Austin Holt (27 rec., 472 yards, 6 TDs)

Int. leader: Chris Chaus, Logan Ludwig (2)

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY

This is the fourth meeting between this teams in the past two years, and ninth in the past seven years ... Alta leads the all-time series 11-7, but Bingham has won four straight since 2004, including a 23-20 win in Week 2 of the regular season as Justin Sorensen booted three field goals ... This is also a rematch of last year's 5A state championship game won by Bingham, 21-19, before an estimated 20,000 fans at Rice-Eccles Stadium ... Alta has won 10 straight games and 21 of its last 23 games, both losses against Bingham ... Bingham is on an eight-game winning streak since losing to Jordan in Week 4.

COACHING REPORT

Bingham coach Dave Peck — Between stints at Cyprus and Bingham, Peck's career coaching record is 99-58 in 14 years. He led Bingham to first state title in 60 years last year.

Alta coach Les Hamilton — In his third year at Alta coach Hamilton's led Alta to Rice-Eccles Stadium all three years. In addition to two years at Grantsville, his career coaching record is 45-19

E-mail: dirk@desnews.com