We were struggling a little bit offensively with a few things. It’s a team game and they came up big tonight. —Bingham head coach John Lambourne on his team's defense
SOUTH JORDAN — Excluding a relatively meaningless 77-yard touchdown pass in the final two minutes, Bingham’s offense didn’t really do much in Friday night's showdown with region rival Lone Peak.
It didn’t need to either.Bingham’s defense was in the zone on Senior Night as it grabbed four interceptions, including two that Tanner Merrill and Junior Tafuna, returned for touchdowns as the Miners held on for the 28-10 victory over Lone Peak to improve to 7-0 this season.
Bingham’s defense was in the zone on Senior Night as it grabbed four interceptions, including two that Tanner Merrill and Junior Tafuna, returned for touchdowns as the Miners held on for the 28-10 victory over Lone Peak to improve to 7-0 this season.
“We did struggle in some respects offensively. We did the things we needed to win and not to get ourselves in too much trouble. That’s part of winning games,” said Bingham coach John Lambourne, who said he never felt comfortable until the final few minutes as Lone Peak never went away.
With Bingham leading 21-3 after Tafuna’s pick-six with 7:58 remaining, Lone Peak responded with its only touchdown of the game on Brock Jones' 11-yard TD pass to Brigham Trowbridge. Its special teams then blocked a punt to set the Knights up with a first down at Bingham’s 12-yard line with 2:42 left in the game.
On the next play, however, Dax Milne sealed the win as he jumped a slant route for Bingham’s fourth interception of the game.
“There was a lot of kids playing real hard today, and we had to. Credit Lone Peak, they played pretty good themselves,” said Lambourne.
In addition to the four turnovers and two sacks, Bingham’s defense held Lone Peak to just 267 yards of total offense.
Merrill helped set the tone right away after he returned an interception 45 yards on the third play of the game to give Bingham an early 7-0 lead.
“I just went up and got physical with the guy like the coach had me doing the whole week because we wanted to emphasize the press,” said Merrill.
Lone Peak responded with an impressive 11-play drive, but it stalled at the 1-yard line as Masen Wake was stopped a yard short on fourth-and-goal.
After forcing Bingham to punt, Lone Peak put together another methodical 18-play drive, but it ultimately settled for a field goal despite a first-and-goal situation.
Shortly before halftime Bingham quarterback Ryan Wood scored on an 8-yard run giving his team a 14-3 lead despite Lone Peak enjoying a big edge in time of possession.
“When your defense is out there a lot of minutes that’s hard, and they just kept battling,” said Lambourne.
The Miners looked poised to blow the game wide open on a long drive in the third quarter, but it fumbled at the 2-yard line to give Lone Peak life. They eventually went up 21-3 on Tafuna’s interception return with 7:58 remaining.
The defensive TDs were critical on a night when the offense tallied only 337 yards of total offense, well below its season average.
“We were struggling a little bit offensively with a few things. It’s a team game and they came up big tonight,” said Lambourne.