In a somewhat surprising outcome, the Bingham Miners gave the Mountain Ridge Sentinels their first loss of the season in dominating fashion, scoring the first 31 points of the game on their way to a 45-14 blowout.
Bingham quarterback Dallen Martinez accounted for two Miner touchdowns, running back Saia Lomu scored two and Maxton Peck had a punt return for a touchdown as well as a receiving score.
In the week leading up to the game, Bingham coach Dave Peck felt that his team had the best week of preparation since he returned to the school two years ago.
“They treated it like a championship caliber week. We were the healthiest we have been all year. We knew that the winner of this game had a good chance at going on and winning the region championship,” said Peck.
After a 41-yard field goal by kicker Nate Chamberlain with 9:19 left in the first quarter, the Miners struck again soon after with a 9-yard touchdown run up the middle by Lomu. Maxton Peck padded Bingham’s lead with his first score of the night when he returned a punt 40 yards to the end zone, increasing the lead to 17-0.
With the game quickly becoming one-sided, Bingham once again increased its lead, this time on a one-handed grab in the end zone by Peck on a pass from Martinez with two minutes left in the first quarter.
Fotu added his second touchdown of the night at the beginning of the second quarter with an 18-yard run.
It wasn’t until midway through the third quarter when Mountain Ridge scored its first points of the game, courtesy of a 10-yard run by running back Cade Uluave.
After getting the job done through the air, Martinez kept it on the ground. Taking the ball and seeing space in the backfield, he raced up field for an 80-yard score. Lomu then got his second rushing touchdown of the night late in the third quarter on with a 5-yard run.
With the game long out of reach, Uluave scored again for the Sentinels with a 2-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Martinez knows that if his team wants to win the region championship, it’s going to have to beat the best, and taking down an undefeated team in such emphatic fashion is sure to send a statement.
“I’m glad we faced the tough teams already because it gives us a good idea at what we need to work on going forward and what we need to improve,” he said. “We are a lot better than we were in the preseason. We keep improving each week and I’m really proud of the boys.”