Was something missing from this year's Alta-Bingham clash?
I'm sure Alta fans feel like it was a spectacular night. The Hawks' stadium was filled to capacity and the game certainly had its share of drama. It almost went down to the wire. But for some reason, I'm feeling like the game didn't live up to the standards set by the previous three contests between the two teams.
Both teams had their issues. The Hawks struggled mightily on special teams in the early going while digging themselves a two-touchdown deficit. Alta worked through its problems.
Bingham, conversely, might not be who we thought they were. Or whatever it was former Cardinals coach Dennis Green said in his famous postgame interview a few years ago.
Fans have grown accustomed to seeing the Miners' offensive line dominate. They are used to seeing it being physical and opening huge holes for explosive running backs. Well, Bingham's line is struggling this season. Quarterback Jake Soffe has now been sacked 13 times in two games. A once dominant running game has looked ordinary this season.
Is it time for the Miners, now 0-2 for the first time since 1992, to hit the panic button?
I don't think so. Bingham has talent, and good coaches. Sure, the Miners have started slower than anyone expected, but they haven't exactly lost to a couple of junior varsity teams. I believe coach Dave Peck will keep doing what he thinks is right and the Miners will get rolling. It's only August, people.
There were some big plays made last night and it was entertaining game. It was an awesome atmosphere, as usual when these two teams play. But I think I'd rank it fourth in terms of overall quality in the last four games between the two teams.
Tired of reading about Alta-Bingham yet? Good thing they don't play every week. I've almost covered everything.
Peck truly is a one-of-a-kind in the coaching community. We talked a little bit during the third quarter about his Tuesday practice I wrote about on our blog. No really, we had a conversation as the game was going on. I can't imagine that happening with any other coach in the state. OK, maybe with the Murray coach.
Anyway, several Bingham players were cramping up during the game. Peck walked by and said with a sly grin, "I wonder why that's happening." I guessed because the team didn't pack any bananas for the road game. I knew I was an idiot the second the words left my mouth. He said it was because of the grueling workout he put the Miners through on Tuesday.
He didn't regret it one bit. It was necessary for him and his staff to get the attention of their players after last week's loss to Skyline. Bingham was leading at the time of our conversation, and he said even if his team lost, the Tuesday workout was worth it because his kids were playing hard against the rival Hawks.
Don't count Bingham out of the state-title race just yet. Peck and his staff know what they're doing.
Congratulations are in order for the Canyon View football program. The Falcons had lost a state-high 15 straight games before beating Emery 23-13 on Friday night. Also, congratulations are in order for Tooele's Ray Groth, who picked up his first victory as the Buffaloes' head coach in a 15-10 win over West. We still need the box score though, coach.
Here are some football facts provided by Mr. George Felt:
• Timpview's win over Spanish Fork moved its win streak to 25, now second place all time, and just three games short of matching Rich's record of 28.
• Syracuse recorded its first-ever shutout.
• Juan Diego scored its most-ever points (65).
• North Sanpete scored in its 80th straight game, the 22nd school to achieve that mark. The Hawks have the third longest active streak.
• Copper Hills, in its 14th season, has already matched its best-ever start, 2-0, set in 2004 and 1999.
AA TOP 10
7. Pine View
9. Mountain Crest
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Brian Bell, Copper Hills
The Grizzlies have been under the radar in their two wins this season. But if they keep playing how they have been, that won't last for long. Bell helped the Grizzlies get noticed on Friday, as he rushed for 223 yards on 17 carries and scored two touchdowns in Copper Hills' 26-6 win over Box Elder.
DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Brady Davies, Dan Adams, Brock Handley, A.I. Ho-Ching, Parker Hausknecht, Garret Smart, Brandon Weiss, Cole Hermann, Cameron Putnam, Trey Phillips and Zack Bigelow, Alta
Yep, I picked every Alta defensive contributor I could think of. I apologize if I missed someone. It may appear that I took the high road by giving the award to Alta's entire defense. But hey, these guys were awesome against Bingham. They gave up 19 yards in the first half.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Dane Lobdell, Bingham
He ignited the Miners with a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, giving Bingham an early 7-3 lead over Alta.
COACH OF THE WEEK
Russ Jones, Syracuse
I guarantee Syracuse's 14-0 win over Woods Cross was sweet for Jones. He coached at Woods Cross for two seasons before being named Syracuse's first head coach. After an expected rough debut last season, Jones has the Titans sitting at 2-0 in their second season.
STAT OF THE WEEK
OK, I promise this is the last mention of Alta-Bingham. This is too interesting to pass up. Bingham led 17-3 at the end of the first quarter of Friday's game despite having minus-5 yards of offense. Here's how my notes read:
Lobdell 97 kickoff return for TD, Bingham 7-3
Second possession (set up by 49-yard punt return by Colton Yack)
1&G Alta 2 Langi 0 run
2&G Alta 2 Langi 2 TD run, Bingham 14-3
1&10 Alta 44 Langi 0 run
2&10 Alta 44 Soffe sacked by Davies, 6 loss
3&16 50 Peck minus-1 pass from Soffe
4&17 Bingham 49 punt
Fourth possession (set up by interception by Nate Girsberger, who actually returned it for a touchdown but had it called back because of a clipping penalty)
1&10 Alta 27 Langi minus-1 run
2&11 Alta 28 Soffe 1 run
3&10 Alta 27 incomplete pass
4&10 Alta 27 Loveless 44 FG
I can honestly say I hadn't looked ahead to Week 3 all week. It's been a busy week. After a quick glance at the schedule, I can tell you there are some great games to look forward to for next week no let down for high school football junkies. Cottonwood-Pine View, Layton-Jordan, Logan-Sky View and Skyline-Highland are great candidates for game of the week consideration. There's also a battle between surprising 2-0 teams in Copper Hills and Hillcrest. Alta will get a great test from Kearns.
But here's the big one: Timpview at Lone Peak. The T-birds have won 25 straight games. The last team to beat Timpview? That was Lone Peak.