East (11-1) at Bingham (12-0)
6A state championship
Friday, 2:30 p.m. (at Rice-Eccles Stadium)
Parry’s Power Guide: Bingham by 10
All-time series: East leads 5-2
Coach vs. coach: Bingham’s John Lambourne leads East’s Brandon Matich, 1-0
Last meeting: Aug. 25 (Week 2) - Bingham 48-17 at Bingham
SALT LAKE CITY — On Friday, East and Bingham clash in the 6A high school football championship game, a rematch of the much-hyped early-season game that the Miners won 48-17.
“We lost the game, we didn’t play very well, and we lost the game. You can’t play that way against a defending champion and expect to win. We need to perform better or the outcome will be the same,” East head coach Brandon Matich said.
Even though the Miners won the first meeting in the regular season, both teams have evolved since that meeting, and nothing is a given once you step onto the turf at Rice-Eccles Stadium in a championship game.
“I wouldn’t even call it the regular season, for us I’d call it the preseason. We got things rolling during the region schedule, which is a whole other season, so this is the third season — and of course the last game of it,” Bingham head coach John Lambourne said. “We stay the course, we do what we do, we don’t try and be real different, but time and all these weeks give you an opportunity to prepare a few things. They’re a different team, we’re a different team, we’ll see what happens.”
East still remembers week two and knows that they will have to play better than they did if they want to claim another state title, but Matich says his players will be ready for the challenge.
“Our kids understand the magnitude and the size and the emotion that goes into a championship game. I don’t think the identity changes for us or the messages changes for us, because we try and play every game at a championship level, and this is no different for us,” Matich said. “I know that we want to make a big deal out of, Bingham beat East and this is a rematch, are we going to rise to the occasion and all that stuff, but that’s not what this is about for us. It’s the championship game and we always feel like this is where we belong as a program and everything that we (did) in the prior 13 weeks is all leading up to this moment. In the eight years I’ve been at East, we’ve been in this position a number of times and our expectations, and how we approach the game and the message I deliver and the message my coaches deliver is always the same.”
For Bingham, the keys to winning Friday’s matchup are simple.
“Football is football, typically. I think you’ve got to run the ball effectively, you’ve got to eliminate mistakes, and I think you’ve got to make some plays here and there, too. There’s never one equation to winning a game, and we’ll adjust and adapt as the game goes on and see what we need,” Lambourne said.
For East, the things they need to do to win the game are the same as they’ve always been.
“We need to execute the game plan that’s been put in place by the coaches. If we can execute our game plan and we compete against ourselves and make sure that we improve on where we were last week, we’ll be successful. We’ve got to take care of the football. We cannot turn the ball over on offense, and we have to play really, really good defense. If we can play good defense, hold the football and execute our game plan, I feel good about our chances,” Matich said.
East statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 41.7 ppg (1st in 6A)
Scoring defense: 19.0 ppg (5th in 6A)
Passing leader: Ben Ford (25-57, 43.9%, 616 yards, 7 TDs, 2 INT)
Tackles leaders: Villiami Tausinga (88 tackles), Apu Ika (78 tackles)
Sack leaders: Tennesse Pututau (13.5 sacks), Johnson Hansen (13 sacks)
Bingham statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 40.8 ppg (2nd in 6A)
Scoring defense: 9.8 ppg (1st in 6A)
Passing leader: Ryan Wood (89-147, 60.5%, 1,585 yards, 17 TDs, 2 INT)
Receiving leaders: Brayden Cosper (41 rec., 793 yards, 9 TDs), Dax Milne (25 rec., 428 yards, 7 TDs)
Interception leaders: Tanner Merrill (5 INTs), Kobi Matagi (4 INTs)
Felt’s Facts for East High School
Head Coach: 2010-current — Brandon Matich (79-24)
All-time record: 577-353-31 (104 years)
Region championships: 36 (1917, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923 co, 1925 co, 1926, 1929 co, 1934, 1935, 1936 co, 1937 co, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1942, 1943, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1973, 1996, 2006 co, 2007 co, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017)
Playoff appearances: 45
Current playoff appearance streak: 8 (2010-2017)
All-time playoff record: 63-27-2
State championships: 17 (1917, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1925, 1926, 1943, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1964, 1974, 1996, 2015, 2016)
State championship record: 14-4-1
Felt’s Facts for Bingham High School
Head Coach: 2015-current — John Lambourne (37-2)
All-time record: 499-363-30 (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: 61-34
State championships: 10 (1939, 1941, 1945, 1946, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016)
State championship record: 10-2