SOUTH JORDAN — After constructing a dominant 35-7 lead midway through the second quarter, the Bingham Miners conceded 21 unanswered points to finish the first half and allowed Weber to significantly close the gap. But thanks to some halftime adjustments and an aggressive defensive strategy, the Miners outscored the Warriors 20-7 to take care of business at home.
The Miners couldn't have asked for a better start to begin Friday's matchup and led 14-0 after just a minute of play. Thanks to an impressive 78-yard touchdown run by quarterback Dallen Martinez on the very first down of the game and a fumble recovery on the 2-yard line on the ensuing Weber drive, Bingham was out to a commanding lead just 60 seconds in.
Weber answered on the following drive, but Bingham rattled off 21 straight points behind running back Havea Fotu, who finished the night with three touchdowns. No matter what the Warriors did, Bingham's offensive line owned the trenches and continually opened up enormous gaps for both the backs and the quarterback.
Fotu credited the offensive success to the line, saying they are the "best in the state."
"My O-line, man, that's the best O-line in the state," Fotu said. "They provided big holes and then the QB gave me the ball, trusted me with it and so did the coaches, so I just took advantage of my moments."
With a 35-7 Bingham lead in the second quarter, the game seemed to be well out of reach with the outcome solidified; however, over the course of the next six and a half minutes, the Warriors scored 21 unanswered points and closed the gap to just a single possession at the halftime break.
Weber's offense got into a rhythm and attacked through the air and made quick passes in order to avoid Bingham's continuous blitz strategy. Four star recruit Aisea Moa, a Utah commit, recorded a 25-yard pick-six and demonstrated his high football IQ as he watched the quarterback's eyes before elevating to make the interception — the rest was taking it to the house for a touchdown.
Out of the break, though, it was all Bingham as they continued to run the ball through Weber, in addition to an increased pressure on defense, which consistently dropping the Warriors in the backfield.
"We wanted to control the clock a little bit more," Bingham head coach Dave Peck said. "Instead of being so fast speed, ya know, it was one where: OK, let's go up, let's run the ball more and not run the hurry-up offense. I mean, the plan was to go as fast as we could so that was a major adjustment.
"Defensively, a couple times, we just flat out blew alignments and some coverages," he added. "The kids knew exactly what they messed up on and we didn't do it the second half. I thought we were lights out with our starters, defensively, the second half."
Following Weber's initial drive on the second half, which resulted in a punt, Bingham put their foot on the gas and cruised to victory and scored 20 unanswered. Most notably, the Miners only allowed 7 second-half points — and to Bingham's credit, it was after all the starters had been sidelined in the fourth quarter. Bingham opened the season with a 55-35 win.
Bingham (1-0) will now prepare to host an out-of-state matchup against Bishop Manogue from Reno, Nevada. The game is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 20 at 7 p.m.