Alta vs. Bingham: The ‘Black and Blue Rivalry' continues

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The high school football rivalry between Bingham and Alta is big -- so big, it's moving to a bigger venue.

This year's regular season contest that has become known as the Black and Blue Rivalry will be played at Rice-Eccles stadium Saturday, Aug. 28, at 8 p.m.

"I can only imagine right now," said Alta quarterback Boston Handley. "We're expecting 20,000-plus, so if we get that it will be a fun game. Hopefully we don't disappoint."

Alta vs. Bingham:
Head-to-head results since 2005

8/17/05: Bingham 45, Alta 35
8/18/06: Bingham 28, Alta 12
11/17/06: Bingham 21, Alta 19 - 5A State Championship
8/24/07: Bingham 23, Alta 20
11/9/07: Alta 21, Bingham 17 - 5A State Semifinal
8/29/08: Alta 27, Bingham 19
11/21/08: Alta 21, Bingham 17 - 5A State Championship
8/28/09: Bingham 38, Alta 34
11/13/09: Bingham 28, Alta 19 - 5A State Semifinal

"It just shows how big this game is," said Bingham linebacker Andrew Clark. "It's going to be a fun environment. Hopefully it's going to be loud."

These two teams have met eight times since 2006. Two of those meetings were in the 5A state semifinals, and twice they met to determine the 5A State Championship. The last four 5A state football titles have been claimed by either Alta or Bingham.

The games between these two teams have become so popular with high school football fans in Utah that many had to be turned away at the gate because there wasn't any room in stadiums of both schools. Now, no one should have to miss what many consider the best high school football rivalry in the state of Utah.

"It's a lot of pressure, especially in Utah," said Alta linebacker Nik Wolford. "You see it in Texas, all those fans. It's crazy to think what this game has developed into."

"It's the best rivalry in Utah by far," said Bingham wide receiver Dalton Fackrell. "The whole week building up to it is just nuts, and to be at Rice-Eccles this week it's even bigger."

This year's game has lost a little bit of luster after Alta was upset in week one by Cottonwood. The loss has a lot of people counting out the Hawks, who will be facing the fifth-ranked team in the country, according to USA Today.

"We've been a little discredited now, knocked down in the rankings, but were expecting to get back to the top and were going to come in there as hard as we can," said Handley.

Last week's Top 5 performances
Marcus Case, running back, Springville
Case had 17 carries for 370 yards and four TDs in a 55-48 win at Dixie. His scores covered distances of 12, 53, 65 and 58 yards.
Bingham defense
The Miners defense held Viewmont to just 39 yards of total offense in a 51-0 shutout of the Vikings.John Ursua, Westlake, Quarterback
Ursua threw four touchdown passes and also added a 40 yard touchdown run in the Thunder's 35-21 win over Delta.Trevor Rydalch, South Summit
South Summit's do-it-all star had a performance that would make Eric Weddle proud. He scored on a running play, a kickoff return, a punt return, and a 54-yard field goal in a 47-0 win over Altamont.Kami Sofele, Cottonwood, Defensive Back
Had two interceptions, including one returned for the game-winning touchdown, in a week one upset over Alta.

Bingham still has all the respect in the world for their rival and expects the Hawks to give them their best on Saturday night.

"They want to win just as much as we do," Bingham linebacker Roman Valenzuela said.

No matter the records, both teams always know what to expect whenever Alta and Bingham face each other on the field.

"I'm always fired up for the Bingham-Alta rivalry," Handley said. "It's the best game of the year."

5 Other Games to Watch:

#4 Lone Peak vs. #2 Mountain Crest Saturday 5 p.m. @ Rice-Eccles Stadium
If you plan to attend the Bingham vs. Alta game Saturday you may want to come early and watch this one. Mustangs quarterback Alex Kuresa is fun to watch but he will be challenged by the Knights stingy defense.

#4 Bountiful @ #5 Spanish Fork
Another battle of an explosive offense (Spanish Fork) against a stingy defense (Bountiful). This battle between the Dons and Braves will serve as a measuring stick for both teams.

Syracuse @ Northridge
Region 1 begins play this week and the Titans and Knights will get things started with what should be a fantastic football game. The winner may have the best chance to challenge Davis for the region title.

Wooster (NV) @ Springville
The Red Devils will be playing with heavy hearts Friday in their first home game since the tragic death of linebacker Brandon Curtis.

Olympus @ Skyline
A great Utah tradition continues as Olympus and Skyline renew their rivalry in the "Battle of the Rock". The Titans currently own "The Rock" after upsetting the Eagles last season.


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Jeremiah Jensen Sports Reporter


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