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MISSION VIEJO, Calif. — Bingham High football coach Dave Peck will have to wait another year to show what his team can do against out-of-state competition. While the proud top program has had no problems plowing through in-state competition, they haven't fared well outside of it.
Orange Lutheran snapped Bingham's 26-game winning streak Saturday with a 42-7 win over the Miners in Mission Viejo, Calif.
Orange Lutheran handed it to Peck's program with the help of multiple Miner turnovers.
For Bingham coaches and players, the loss was a shock.
"We're not used to losing like this," Peck said. "This isn't who we are or who we've been. We were beat by a better team — a team that was better prepared than we were and we'll learn from it."
Early on, it was a slugfest as Bingham tied up the game 7-7 toward the end of the first quarter on a 1-yard TD run by Daniel Palepoi.
Then turnovers began to take their toll.
Three separate times the Miners drove the ball deep into Lancer territory only to turn it over. Two other times, they turned it over deep in their own territory, yielding easy scores to Orange Lutheran.
Miner quarterback Brady Lail was intercepted twice and fumbled twice.
"We just can't turn it over like that and expect to win," said Peck. "We have to execute better because against a team as talented as that team was. It just can't happen or you get the kind of score that this ended up being."
After Orange Lutheran's final touchdown came with 4:17 left, the officials went to a running clock to shorten the game. For a team with Bingham's proud history, that move was nothing short of surreal.
"The last time I felt like this was in Dallas 26 games ago," said Peck. "It's not a feeling I'm used to and it's certainly not a good feeling. It's something we'll deal with. We still have our goal in mind which is to win a state championship."
For Peck, it's a lot about just bad-timing.
Last year's team armed with 15 players that went on to sign letters of intent with college programs didn't travel outside of the state. Peck firmly believes that that team could have played with anyone in the country.
This year, it's a different Bingham team.
"You know, we're rebuilding and tonight showed that we have a ways to go in getting back to where we were," he said. "You don't just replace 15 scholarship players like that and be fine. We have a lot of work to do, but I'm excited for that challenge."
Peck is confident that he'll eventually get the timing right and show beyond the state's borders what Bingham is capable of.
"We'll get there," he said. "That wasn't Bingham football tonight and we'll get back to what people expect from us. We have a young team, but a good team. The kids have a lot of desire and they're hurting right now. We'll get there though. I'm just disappointed again that we couldn't represent the state like we wanted to. That's what hurts the most right now."
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