SANDY Never has an eight-point game been so one-sided.
Although the final score shows that Alta only defeated Bingham 27-19 in another memorable contest between the two teams on Friday night, the Hawks thoroughly dominated the Miners on both sides of the ball and took their second straight victory in the series between the two cross-valley rivals.
The third side of the ball? Well, that was all Bingham and it nearly led to a Miners victory.
The Miners stormed out to a 17-3 first-quarter lead thanks to a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Dane Lobdell, and a punt return to Alta's 2-yard line by Colton Yack that led to a score by Harvey Langi. An interception by Nate Girsberger set Bingham up in great field position late in the period. The Miners built a two-touchdown lead despite having minus-5 yards of offense in the first quarter.
Overcoming a 14-point deficit against Bingham is usually impossible. But the Hawks kept their composure and kept playing ball.
"It's always frustrating to be losing," said Alta receiver Parker Webster. "We knew they would come out and be (mad) about losing the Skyline game. We knew we just had to stay with them a little bit. We took the first few punches and just stayed in and kept going at it."
After the first quarter, and it took some time to show it on the scoreboard, the Hawks took complete control of the contest.
Hawks quarterback Ammon Olsen got his team within a score with a 21-yard touchdown strike to Webster in the second quarter. The tandem teamed up for the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter when Olsen threw Webster a 29-yard touchdown pass with 7:55 left in the game.
The play was a thing of beauty. Webster ran a post-corner and beat his guy to the west end of Alta's north end zone. Olsen delivered the pass over Webster's shoulder, and the big-play receiver hauled it in to give the
Hawks their first lead.
Olsen completed 13-of-23 passes for 309 yards and three touchdowns. Webster caught eight passes for 119 yards. Junior Zack Liston had three receptions for 131 yards and he scored with 6:03 remaining in the game to give the Hawks a 27-19 advantage.
"All my receivers did amazing," Olsen said.
Alta's defense was equally amazing. The Hawks registered six sacks, and held the Miners to 104 yards of offense. Bingham had just 19 yards of first half offense.
Linebacker A.I. Ho-Ching helped the Hawks put the game away with two sacks in the fourth quarter.
"Those weren't even my sacks, they were the defense's sacks," he said. "We practiced all week for this. It was the biggest week of practice we've ever had. It paid off."
Once again, a standing-room only crowd witnessed what's become the state's best football rivalry. They weren't disappointed with the competitiveness of the game, as Bingham had the ball in the final two minutes with a the chance to tie the game. Ho-Ching, who forced Bingham quarterback Jake Soffe to fumble with his second sack, made sure the ending wasn't too dramatic."It's (Alta-Bingham) always the same every time," Webster said. "It comes down to the very, very last second of play. They're always the best games in the state."