It's a team that's playing well, much like every team that has reached this stage. They play an aggressive brand of football and they've seen a lot of good success on the season already. —Bingham coach John Lambourne on facing Herriman
No prep football team makes it look easier than Bingham, yet coach John Lambourne is quick to inform that looks can be deceiving.
The Miners will be making their 11th appearance at Rice-Eccles Stadium in 12 years this Friday when taking on Herriman in the semifinal round of the 6A state playoffs. Rice-Eccles has hosted the final two rounds of the state playoffs for the three highest classifications in all of those 12 years, speaking to Bingham's dominance during that stretch.
"You don't just get there. It doesn't just happen," said Bingham coach John Lambourne. "Nothing is a given in any year and this team has had its own challenges, much like every single team we've had here through the years. I guess it may look easy to some, but I can assure you that's not the case. These kids have worked and battled every step of the way."
Bingham always features top line play, and does so again this year, with several standouts at the skill positions. Top offensive components include receivers Brayden Cosper and Dax Milne, quarterback Ryan Wood, and running backs Braedon Wissler and Amoni Kaili.
"We feel our receivers are as good as any receiver tandem you'll see in the state and Ryan (Wood) has done a great job getting the ball to them," Lambourne said. "We've been real happy with our running backs and they're all skilled players who compliment each other very well."
Herriman (6-5) at Bingham (11-0)
6A state tournament semifinals
Friday, 2:30 p.m. (at Rice-Eccles Stadium)
Parry’s Power Guide: Bingham by 23
All-time series: Bingham leads 7-0
Coach vs. coach: Bingham’s John Lambourne leads Herriman’s Dustin Pearce, 3-0
Last meeting: Sept. 1 (Week 3) – Bingham 34-0, at Herriman
Herriman presents a lot of the same strengths as Bingham, although the Mustangs' history isn't nearly as storied. That said, Herriman coach Dustin Pearce understands what it takes to take a team the distance, as evidenced by Herriman's state championship in 2015.
"Herriman is a very well-coached and physical team," Lambourne observed. "Their approach is similar to ours and their line play — they have some big guys who are really skilled up front. They'll be a challenge, no question."
The Mustangs finished the season strong after incurring an early 0-4 start. Leading the stat sheet on the offensive side of the ball are players like quarterback Blake Freeland and running back Maeakafa Leakehe.
"It's a team that's playing well, much like every team that has reached this stage," Lambourne said. "They play an aggressive brand of football and they've seen a lot of good success on the season already."
As for his team, Lambourne is again excited for the opportunity and not taking a spot in the semifinal round for granted.
"It's a big deal for us to reach this stage of the playoffs and it always is. We're very grateful for an opportunity to play again in Rice-Eccles Stadium and we never take it for granted. At least I hope no one is," Lambourne said. "It's going to be a tough game against a very good Herriman team, but hopefully we can get by and move on to another great opportunity to play in the championship game."
Herriman statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 20.8 ppg (15th in 6A)
Scoring defense: 18.2 ppg (5th in 6A)
Passing leader: Blake Freeland (75-144, 52.1%, 767 yards, 9 TDs, 6 INTs)
Receiving leaders: Ben Fife (19 rec., 207 yards, 2 TDs)
Bingham statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 41.7 ppg (2nd in 6A)
Scoring defense: 10.0 ppg (1st in 6A)
Passing leader: Ryan Wood (82-131, 62.6%, 1,465 yards, 15 TDs, 1 INT)
Interception leaders: Tanner Merrill (3 INTs), Kobi Matagi (3 INTs)
Felt’s Facts for Herriman High School
Head Coach: 2013-current — Dustin Pearce (36-23)
All-time record: 56-37 (8 years)
Region championships: 1 (2013 co)
Playoff appearances: 7
Current playoff appearance streak: 1 (2017)
All-time playoff record: 8-6
State championships: 1 (2015)
State championship record: 1-0
Felt’s Facts for Bingham High School2 comments on this story
Head Coach: 2015-current — John Lambourne (36-2)
All-time record: 498-363-30 (94 years)
Region championships: 25 (1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1943, 1945, 1946, 1960, 1963, 1991 co, 1996 co, 1999 co, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 co, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
Playoff appearances: 45
Current playoff appearance streak: 29 (1989-2017)
All-time playoff record: 60-34
State championships: 10 (1939, 1941, 1945, 1946, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016)
State championship record: 10-2