As October dawns in Utah high school football, Bingham is checking all the boxes of a team gearing up to be a tough out in the 6A playoffs.
The Miners clobbered rival West Jordan Friday with a potent mix of swashbuckling rushing, explosive pass plays, suffocating defense and special teams impact for a 48-0 shutout victory.
“They played lights out and did exactly what we asked them to do in all three phases,” Bingham coach Eric Jones said. “I can’t really ask for anything else.”
Bingham needed only four plays on its first scoring drive after a trio of rushers gashed West Jordan’s defense for nearly 50 yards to set up a Carson Sudbury 4-yard touchdown scamper.
The Miners defense stonewalled the ensuing Jaguars drive with a fourth down corralling stop of quarterback Dameon Crosby. Bingham went to work on the ground again – chewing up yardage until quarterback Dallen Martinez connected with Havea Fotu for a 9-yard screen pass score to make it 14-0 with 8:55 left in the second quarter.
“He’s a stud,” Jones said of Fotu. “He’s undersized but he plays like a monster. He’s electric in the open field, he’s tough, he’s humble. He’s just a great kid to have on our side and I love rooting for him.”
After another Jaguars three and out, Martinez escaped the West Jordan rush and found Hunter Mehn downfield for a 35-yard gain to convert a 3rd and 20 into the red zone. Fotu took care of the rest, pummeling up the middle for a 1-yard scoring dive and a 21-0 lead.
The Miners declined to coast when closing out the first half, driving 60 yards in under two minutes for a fourth touchdown. Martinez dropped a perfect ball to Mehn in the corner of the end zone just over a West Jordan defender to make it 28-0 in the final seconds before the break.
“I took two steps, saw he was covered pretty good, thought I could maybe get to the back shoulder and just hit him good,” Martinez said.
Bingham ratcheted up the tempo in the opening of the third quarter, motoring through a four-play scoring drive with rushing plays that stretched West Jordan laterally. Fotu found the end zone again for his third and final scoring rush of the night from five yards out and a 35-0 lead with 8:49 left in the third quarter.
“I didn’t give them my legs or my hips, so my legs are able to drive,” Fotu said. “We’re always taught to be bruising backs so you’ve just got to keep your feet and keep going.”
On the ensuing kickoff, Bingham’s special teams got in on the fun when Kisina Afemui ripped the ball out of the West Jordan returner’s hands and rumbled 25 yards in the opposite direction for another score. The Miners went up 41-0 after a blocked extra point.
A fumble recovery for the Miners defense and a 2-yard Triston Brimhall score finalized the rout, 48-0.
Next up to close out the regular season is a date with rival Riverton, a team that’s gotten the best of Bingham since 2019, and a game that the Miners are extra motivated to win.
“Gotta stay focused going into the last week. Another big rivalry game coming up with Riverton,” Jones said. “I don’t ever assume that everything is on cruise control, but yeah, we’re playing pretty good football right now.”