SOUTH JORDAN — It seems the Bingham Miners heard the voices around the state that claimed their Friday afternoon matchup with the Northridge Knights was the perfect storm for a 5A playoff upset.
Miners coach Dave Peck certainly noticed.
"Some people were saying there was a chance we could get knocked off," Peck said after the game. "We had maybe the best week of practice I've ever been a part of. It was just like lighting a fire under these kids."
A focused and determined Bingham squad played a Halloween trick on doubters with their 42-7 win. The Miners were led by a salty defense and a running game that racked up 273 yards. It's the ninth consecutive win for Bingham, all of which have come by margins of 27 points or more.
Bingham linebacker Remington Peck recorded two sacks, one of many defenders to spend time in the Northridge backfield. The senior was part of a unit that held Northridge to one yard rushing, which gave the Miners the luxury of focusing on the passing game. The results included a Colton Yack interception return for an 82-yard touchdown in the second quarter that all but permanently sealed the momentum for the Miners.
On offense, the Miners tallied 338 total yards, including 88 from junior running back Harvey Langi, who also scored on a short slant pass in Bingham's 27-point second quarter. But the game ball likely went to the defense, which kept Knights quarterback Junior Cole on the run and never allowed the offense to move the ball consistently.
"We felt like we had the toughest first-round matchup of any of the number one seeds, no question about it," Dave Peck said. "I knew if we didn't play a great game, anything could happen. It wasn't like a regular number one seed versus a number four seed for sure."
The Northridge offense had been dominant at times this season, but were only able to find the end zone once, on a 55-yard toss from Cole to Blake Smithing early in the third quarter. Smithing finished with 107 yards, and fellow senior receiver Chris Washington had 90. While both receivers were able to enjoy the occasional big play, they didn't come consistently enough to make a difference.
After Filiaga scored on a short blast, a botched hold on the ensuing extra point led to Soffe finding Dalton Rogers for an unplanned two-point conversion. With the clock running continuously thanks to the 42-7 lead, both teams began mixing in backups.
Northridge ends the season 6-5, having lost four of its final six after a promising 4-1 start. Bingham, now 9-2, moves on to face Jordan next week.