American Fork (10-2) vs. Bingham (10-1)
6A state tournament semifinal
Thursday, 11 a.m. (at Rice-Eccles Stadium)
Parry’s Power Guide: Bingham by 10
All-time series: Bingham leads 14-6-1
Coach vs. coach: Bingham’s John Lambourne leads American Fork’s Aaron Behm, 3-0
Last meeting: Oct. 12, 2018 — Bingham 28, American Fork 24
For those wondering how this Thursday's powerhouse matchup between Bingham and American Fork may play out, one only has to refer back about a month ago when the Miners took a thrilling 28-24 win at home. The game worked as an outlier to what Bingham has traditionally done, with the Cavemen able to work their way back from a 21-10 deficit in the fourth quarter to almost come away with a win.
Such a thing is rarely if ever accomplished against Bingham, considering its strong identity established over the years.
"They have a tradition where they're always big and physical up front and they can just wear teams down throughout the course of a game," said American Fork coach Aaron Behm. "They're a team that doesn't beat itself and just manages long, sustained drives that just beat teams down."
But Bingham's formula largely didn't work against American Fork on Oct. 12, speaking well to the Cavemen's ability to square off against 6A's most successful program.
"They're very good offensively and have some real good players that can beat you if you don't account for them," said Bingham coach John Lambourne. "It's a team that's shown it can compete, and that's no surprise, really. We weren't surprised with how tough they were to beat in our first game. It's a team that has been successful and a team that's going to give us all we can handle come Thursday."
Offense has highlighted American Fork all season, with standout receivers Chase Roberts, Devin Downey the headliners, along with quarterback Boone Abbott. But Behm believes it's his defense that will play a big factor in the final outcome against the Miners.
"We can't let Bingham have those big long drives that just really wear you down," Behm said. "We have to play with the same intensity and not let them lean on us like they do with so many other teams."
While Bingham playing at Rice-Eccles Stadium happens year-in and year-out, the destination isn't as common to the Cavemen, although they have made trips there in the past. Getting there this time around has come through playing on the road for the first two rounds after losing a tiebreaking coin toss between the Cavemen, Miners and Lone Peak for Region 4 seeding.
"This team has goals and doesn't let anything get in the way of those goals and certainly not a coin toss," Behm said. "We've earned our spot through hard work and a focus to win a state championship."
For Bingham, the multiple trips to Rice-Eccles over the years serve well in the program's goal of yet another state championship.
"There's an expectation here built by great commitment from the players and the great coaches I'm fortunate to have on my staff," Lambourne said. "We plan on the postseason at the start of every year and build toward that. It's always a long way to go, but we do things to prepare us for this time of the year because that helps us, I feel. But it's never easy, and it's certainly not going to be easy when taking on a great team like American Fork."
American Fork statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 40.3 ppg (1st in 6A)
Scoring defense: 18.8 ppg (4th in 6A)
Passing leader: Boone Abbott (245-407, 60.2%, 3,562 yards, 42 TDs, 7 INTs)
Rushing leaders: Jaxon Gregory (84 carries, 615 yards, 6 TDs), Boone Abbott (85 carries, 334 yards, 6 TDs)
Receiving leaders: Chase Roberts (72 rec., 1,419 yards, 20 TDs), Devin Downing (59 rec., 1,019 yards, 13 TDs)
Tackles leaders: Tanner Vickers (61 tackles), Brock Hughes (55 tackles)
Sack leaders: Sean Hardman (5 sacks)
Interception leaders: Stockton Bramwell (5 INTs)
Bingham statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 32.5 ppg (4th in 6A)
Scoring defense: 12.2 ppg (1st in 6A)
Passing leader: Peyton Jones (83-155, 53.5%, 1,249 yards, 15 TDs, 5 INTs)
Rushing leaders: Andrew Wimmer (157 carries, 899 yards, 9 TDs), Evona Hall (95 carries, 483 yards, 9 TDs)
Receiving leaders: Avi Parikh (25 rec., 372 yards, 3 TDs), Jake Cragun (18 rec., 313 yards, 3 TDs)
Tackles leaders: Junior Tafuna (60 tackles), Saleka Ataata (50 tackles)
Sack leaders: David Latu (9 sacks), Lolani Langi (5 sacks)
Interception leaders: 3 tied at 2
Felt’s Facts for American Fork High School
Head coach: 2010-current — Aaron Behm (57-46)
All-time record: 488-323-21 (93 years)
Region championships: 19 (1937, 1938, 1939, 1942, 1953, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1977 co, 1980, 1984, 1995 co, 2007 co, 2014, 2018 co)
Playoff appearances: 40
Current playoff appearance streak: 5 (2014-2018)
All-time playoff record: 28-37
State championships: 2 (1961, 1962)
State championship record: 2-3
Felt’s Facts for Bingham High SchoolComment on this story
Head coach: 2015-current — John Lambourne (48-4)
All-time record: 510-364-30 (95 years)
Region championships: 26 (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, 2018 co)
Playoff appearances: 46
Current playoff appearance streak: 30 (1989-2018)
All-time playoff record: 64-34
State championships: 11 (1939, 1941, 1945, 1946, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017)
State championship record: 11-2