Early playoff exit ends season for Bingham football
Nov 18, 2019 04:01PM
● By Josh McFadden
Mason Christiansen carries the ball against Fremont in the second round of the state tournament. (Photo by Pat McDonald)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
It’s rare for the Bingham football team finish its season so early.
For the past 15 seasons, Bingham has arguably been the most dominant, consistent program in the state. Heading into this season, since 2005, the team had amassed seven state titles, 13 region championships, 13 seasons with double-digit victories and five undefeated seasons.
The 2019 campaign was much more challenging for the Miners.
After a dominant 36-14 victory over Fremont in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs on Nov. 1, the Miners fell at home to East, 20-16, on Nov. 8. It was the first time since 2011 that Bingham lost a quarterfinals game. The Miners had reached the semifinals every year since.
The loss was especially frustrating because Bingham had defeated East at home earlier in the season on Sept. 27. That win was the first of five in a row for the Miners heading into the quarterfinals. In this playoff matchup—a rematch of the 2017 6A championship that Bingham won 27-14—East took a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Miners struck back on a 6-yard touchdown run from Troy Mehn to tie things up at 14-apiece at halftime.
The second half was a defensive battle.
East scored a TD midway through the third quarter but missed the extra points. The Miners couldn’t get their offense moving but managed to hold the Leopards back the rest of the way. However, Bingham’s only points in the second half came on a safety with under a minute to play.
Bingham wrapped up its season with an 8-3 record, leaving the Miners with their fewest victories since going 4-7 in 2003.
There was plenty to celebrate in 2019, though. The Miners extended their streak of region titles to eight. Bingham went 4-1 in a competitive Region 3, sharing the championship with East and Herriman. Bingham’s 130 points in region games were the most in the league.
Don’t be surprised to see the Miners bounce back and make a deeper state tournament run in 2020. Bingham returns its starting quarterback, Mehn, who threw 12 touchdowns and ran for three more. Junior running backs Cael Wightman and Carter Shulsen got valuable reps in varsity action this season, while leading receiver Isaiah Glasker will come back for his senior season. Junior defensive lineman Vilianmi Pouha racked up 51 tackles and four sacks. Junior Samuel Sinoti had 39 tackles.