LEHI — The game time temperature at Skyridge High School was 98 degrees on Friday night, and the smoky haze over the valley was so thick that nearby Mount Timpanogos was barely visible. But both the Bingham Miners and Skyridge Falcons admitted they were just happy to be on the field.
Bingham, of course, had to cancel its season opener the previous week when three players tested positive for COVID-19, pushing back the first game for famed coach Dave Peck, who returned to the school where he had so much success but hasn’t had a normal week of practice since summer started.
On Friday night, he saw too much of Skyridge’s sophomore quarterback McCae Hillstead, and that was most looming memory of the Falcons’ 35-7 victory.
Hillstead completed 16 of 27 passes for 202 yards and four touchdowns and ran for one more against one interception as the Falcons tried to set themselves up as a 6A championship contender. His 20-yard run early in the second quarter came after he avoided several Bingham linemen, found a hole on the left and then outran the secondary.
“There’s no limit what he can do,” said Skyridge coach Jon Lehman, whose team is 2-0 after beating Alta 28-14 last week. “He can run and throw, and he never gets rattled.”
“That quarterback,” Peck said of Hillstead. “That was the story of the game.”
The Falcons will still have to get through a tough Region 4 schedule, but if their future opponents are as accommodating as Bingham, it may be possible. The Miners fumbled four times, and it led to three quick second-quarter scores as Skyridge’s defense was doing plenty of rattling. Two of Bingham’s fumbles came on quarterback sacks, and the Falcons took advantage.
“That’s a sign of a good team,” said Jordan Pendleton, a former Bingham player who now helps on Peck’s staff after spending spending several years with Skyridge. “We got a little bit of a whooping tonight, and that doesn’t happen to Bingham very often.”
Watch replay: Skyridge 35, Bingham 7
Peck admitted the last few months have been tough on his squad, but getting to play a real game and having some sense of normalcy should help his players find their strengths.
“It’s a long season, and this game isn’t what we’re about,” he said. “We’re just glad to be here. Every team should be saying that right now.”
The Miners were led by quarterback Troy Mehn, but their only high points came on a pair of long passes in the second quarter, the second of which was caught by Isaiah Glasker for a 27-yard touchdown that got Bingham within 28-7 at intermission.
Bingham accepted the second-half kickoff but couldn’t score, and Skyridge regained the momentum with a long drive that ended with a touchdown throw from Hillstead to Carvalho Kainoa.