SOUTH JORDAN — The first time these two teams met in the regular season, the outcome was a 27-0 victory for the home team, the Bingham Miners. But on any given Friday, especially in the 6A playoffs, even the top teams can slip up and suffer an unexpected loss.
That was not the case for Bingham (9-1), who picked up a second win over the Herriman Mustangs (4-6) in the opening round Friday night of the Class 6A state playoffs.
Herriman struck first after the Miners muffed the punt in their own red zone. Junior quarterback Jaxson James threw a corner fade to the towering 6-foot-5 Fisher Jackson, giving the Mustangs a 7-0 lead with 8:14 left to go in the first quarter.
Bingham’s offense went to work after the turnover behind dual-threat senior quarterback Peyton Jones, and a strong running game led by senior Andrew Wimmer. The Miners advanced the ball with relative ease, but Jones threw an interception to senior defensive back Jayden Jensen, thus ending the Miners’ first two possessions in turnovers.
“We started out really poorly,” admitted Bingham head coach John Lambourne. “They came out throwing the ball a bit, but we only gave up 10 points. There were some odd calls and different things that happened during the game. I thought it was a well-fought game, not an overly well-played game.”
The defense came through for the Miners following the turnover, forcing Herriman to punt again. This time, however, Jones and Wimmer carried the ball into Mustangs territory and came out with points. Wimmer ran in his first rushing touchdown of the postseason with 1:15 left.
Bingham’s offense converted on third down time and time again, eventually giving Wimmer another shot at the end zone. He capped off the Miners’ drive with his second touchdown of the night, extending the Miners’ lead to 13-7.
Herriman’s offense went stale when they weren’t in Bingham’s red zone. Unable to get anything going, they found no more success in the first half.
The second half appeared to be going in Herriman’s favor after forcing Bingham to punt, as the offense went to work on a long drive that was fueled mostly by Bingham penalties. A chop block cost the Mustangs a would-be go-ahead touchdown. They would eventually settle for a field goal, setting the score at 13-10.
Bingham caught an enormous break when the defense stripped the ball from the hands of James, giving the Miners’ offense tremendous field position after the turnover. The Miners got their last touchdown of the night from senior running back Evona Hall less than a minute into the final frame.
The Mustangs last shot at the end zone was picked off by senior cornerback Marques Hamilton, sealing the victory for the Miners.
Lambourne’s defense got his praise due to their tenacity and how they responded in situations that were unfavorable. Lambourne said he was most proud of his team’s "perseverance.”
“Perseverance on their part I thought was great,” said Lambourne. “To be on the field that long and just keep persevering, that was really good.”
Bingham will face the Kearns Cougars (8-3) next week in the quarterfinals of the 6A playoffs.
Marcos Aragon is the Editor-in-Chief of the Salt Lake Community College student publication, The Globe.