SOUTH JORDAN Remember when a team named "Bingham" opened the season with two losses? Remember when those guys struggled mightily to generate power at the point of attack, particularly on offense? And remember when their defensive backfield was a huge question mark?
It's all starting to feel like a nightmare now for Bingham, which is the same team in name only to the group that lost to 5A powers Skyline and Alta at the start of the preseason.
A month removed from those defeats, the Bingham Miners are starting to look like the Bingham Miners of the last several years, and they showed just how far they've come in a 38-7 blowout win over previously unbeaten West Jordan on Thursday.
That offensive line that struggled so much against Alta? Yeah, those guys were absolutely dominant against West Jordan. And what of the secondary, which was missing star senior Colton Yack to a broken hand and started one sophomore and three juniors on Thursday? They've come a long, long way since Week 1 and are complimented by seven other defensive stars.
All in all, those two groups the O-line and the defense provided the platform for Bingham's blowout win on the opening night of Region 3.
"Our (offensive) line and our defense just did a job," said senior QB Jake Soffe, who went 11 of 16 for 210 yards and accounted for three TDs. "I was not touched the whole night. You gotta give it to them."
Bingham's O-line has featured the same five starters throughout the season, but their progression from Week 1 to now has been immense.
"They've worked their guts out in practice, and they've become a great line," said Soffe.
Leading 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, Bingham rolled off 24 points in the second quarter to realistically have the game won by halftime. The Miners added a Soffe TD pass with 8:36 left in the third quarter, and coach Dave Peck started to clear his bench shortly after that.
For his part, Soffe was also excellent. Peck revealed after Thursday's game that the senior quarterback tore his MCL over the summer and only had two weeks of practice before the season began.
He played like he's now 100 percent against West Jordan, however, and was outstanding.
"Jake Soffe's a heck of a player, and I think people are starting to see that," said Peck.
People are also starting to see if they hadn't already figured it out that Bingham is once again a huge player in the Class 5A landscape.
"Kids are buying into what we wanna do, and I just feel there's a little momentum gaining here to where hopefully in the end those first two games are forgotten," said Peck.
Meanwhile, the bubble burst on West Jordan and its previously perfect record. The Jaguars went 5-0 in the preseason and were Class 5A's last unbeaten team, but many wondered whether they legitimately should be considered one of the classification's elite teams, considering how weak their nonregion schedule was.West Jordan certainly has the potential to rebound from here and ultimately do well in Region 3, but on the evidence of one evening, it's pretty clear that they aren't near the top of Class 5A right now.
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