SOUTH JORDAN — Coming into this game, nationally ranked No. 8 Bingham had no problem with confidence as it only took just four plays to score the first of its three first-quarter touchdowns before eventually beating Pleasant Grove 44-14 Friday night in the Region 4 opener for both teams.
Bingham junior running back Braedon Wissler scored the first of his two rushing touchdowns of the game when he crossed the goal line on a 5-yard dash with senior place-kicker Brandon Lopez adding the PAT.
The combination of senior QB Ryan Wood passing to senior WR Dax Milne was successful twice in that opening period as Wood completed passes of 17 and 41 yards to one of his favorite targets. Lopez added the PAT after the 17-yard TD, then junior place-kicker Collin Smith put his talents to work with a PAT after a 41-yard TD.
After Jones proved successful, Wood came back into the game and with 2:52 showing on the clock, the senior QB connected with Cosper for a 16-yard TD and Lopez added his fourth PAT.
With time running out, Lopez used his kicking talents and put the ball through the uprights for a 20-yard field goal to give the Miners a 38-0 lead at the half.
In the third quarter, Wood started behind center and at the 7:33 mark on the clock, he handed the pigskin to Wissler and he ran left, past the whole Viking defense. The speedy junior, on his way to his second rushing touchdown of the game, ended up 90 yards downfield for the score. Lopez missed the PAT, ending the Miners' scoring for the game, but the game was well in hand. For the game, Lopez earned seven points on four PATs and a field goal.
With 3:57 left in the third quarter, Viking junior QB Jake Jensen hit senior RB Tai Kauwe on an 18-yard td pass as he threaded his way through the Miner defenders into open field for the touchdown. Senior place-kicker Jayson McHugh added his first PAT, making the score 44-7.
During the fourth quarter, the mercy rule went into effect and the clock did not stop. During the shorter time element, the Vikings scored their second touchdown with Jensen connecting again with Kauwe on a 5-yard pass and Carson Ecalano added the PAT to make the score 44-14.
For the Vikings, they had nine carries for 19 rushing yards, 17 completed passes out of 37 attempts for 197 passing yards for a total of 216 yards of total offense. The Vikings had 11 first downs.
The Miners had 40 carries for 228 rushing yards and 11 completions out of 14 attempts for 208 passing yards. Bingham totaled 436 yards of offense. They made 13 first downs.
Pleasant Grove (0-5, 0-1) will travel to Hillcrest next week, while Bingham (5-0, 1-0) will travel to Westlake.
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and reports on Pleasant Grove High School varsity sports for Deseret Connect.