Michael Brandy, Deseret News
Stefan Cantwell throws a pass against Jordan in a 5A semifinal game. He threw for 289 yards and four TDs.

SALT LAKE CITY — He plays on a team full of superstars, but the last two times he's been to Rice-Eccles Stadium for a playoff game, nobody has shined brighter than Bingham quarterback Stefan Cantwell.

As a junior last fall, Cantwell introduced himself to the rest of the state with an amazing performance in the 5A state championship against Davis.

Cantwell helped propel his team to a state title that day, and 12 months later, he returned to the stage where he had played so well — Rice-Eccles Stadium — to help his team continue to march toward another one.

Matched up against a spunky bunch from Jordan that entered full of confidence and hope, Cantwell directed his team's offensive show. And with lots of guys playing well around him, the senior was simply magnificent.

Cantwell completed 19 of 27 passes for 289 yards and four TDs, and he rushed the ball 15 times for 76 yards and two TDs as Bingham ripped apart Jordan, 51-23, on Thursday in the 5A semifinals.

So many guys in Bingham jerseys played well on Thursday, but whenever the Miners' offense was on the field, it was Cantwell directing the awesome show.

He couldn't have been more comfortable in that role.

"I just love being in this stadium," he said. "There's a lot of people that come here to watch us, and it's just fun to play and be a part of this dynasty that we're going at. It's just fun."

Cantwell sure makes it fun to watch.

It was most definitely fun to watch when he fumbled the snap with 2:51 left in the third quarter but managed to pick up the ball, burst through the line and then break two tackles en route to the end zone.

Cantwell made a host of plays on Thursday, but that one stood out the most to him afterward.

"That just makes me happy that I can make a play out of nothing," said Cantwell.

So far, recognition from collegiate recruiters has been slow to come for Cantwell despite his immense performances. Rest assured, though, that Bingham coach Dave Peck understands what he brings to his team.

"I just can't imagine a better quarterback anywhere," said Peck. "He could start at any position and be a stud. If you put him on the O-line or linebacker or DB or whatever, he would be a great player, a great leader.

"I think we have 14 kids that have offers right now, but he's not one of them. If I ever went to a college, I'm tellin' you he would be the first kid I would go after. I can't say enough about him."

e-mail: drasmussen@desnews.com