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5A football: Questionable call dooms Lone Peak in title-game loss to Bingham

SALT LAKE CITY — In most tightly-contested football games there's a good number of plays or calls by officials that could flip the outcome, and that was certainly the case for Lone Peak in its heartbreaking 17-10 loss to Bingham in the 5A state championship on Friday.

Whether it was passes just out of the reach of receivers, turnovers or a controversial call, they all conspired to keep the Knights frustratingly short of a 5A state championship for the second straight season.

“I just don’t think you can say it was just that one play,” said Lone Peak coach Mike Mower. “There’s other things that Bingham did and we did a lot of good things. We really did, but (Bingham) is a really good football team and it just happened to go their way. It could have gone either way.”

The play and call that will perhaps be remembered most came with 2:04 remaining in the fourth quarter.

With the Miners up 14-10, and faced with third-and-10 on Lone Peak's 26, Bingham quarterback Matt Degn's attempted pass to Brayden Cosper in the end zone came up short and was knocked away by Lone Peak's Ammon Hannemann. However, Hanneman had his back turned when the pass landed, prompting officials to call pass interference, even though there was little contact made.

The Lone Peak side erupted at the perceived injustice, with Mower making some blunt comments after the game.

“I’m not going to say a lot about that, but I’ll just flat out say it was a terrible call. It was an awful call,” Mower said. “It’s too bad that they didn’t let the boys win it there in the end. But you’ve got to play beyond referee’s calls. You can’t blame it on them. You have to play beyond calls because they’re part of the game.”

To Lone Peak's credit, it did rebound after the call, holding Bingham to just a field goal, but the Miners burned two timeouts and a full minute off the clock in the process. The Knights were able to move the ball to midfield, down 17-10, before an interception ended their comeback bid.

“That’s all you can ask for is to have a chance to win it in the fourth quarter,” Mower said. “We just didn’t quite get the time to get it done.”

After the game a clearly emotional Mower addressed his team, encouraging them to hold their heads high despite coming up just short of its ultimate goal.

“They know who they are — they do,” Mower said. “In my eyes, they’re champions and what a great season they had. I couldn’t have asked anything more from them and my assistant coaches — man, I have the best assistants in the state.”


Twitter: @BrandonCGurney