Bingham showed poise and toughness after falling behind, as the Miners' defense shut out Lone Peak over the game's last 34 minutes. "Lot of courage on the part of our kids," said coach John Lambourne.
This is a meaningful title for Lambourne, formerly Bingham's longtime offensive coordinator, and his staff as they followed through on Dave Peck's building of the program. Not that Lambourne was reveling in any personal achievement.
"I have my goals and aspirations," he said, "but at this point in my career, I really do believe that sharing it with everybody else is the most important thing."
So credit defensive coordinator Karl Cloward for coaching a secondary that made game-changing and game-saving plays and offensive line coach Keith Chatelain for a new scheme that keyed the Miners' go-ahead, 40-yard touchdown drive late in the third quarter. The players made their coaches look good notably Loua, who personally capitalized on his interception with an 8-yard touchdown run for a 14-10 lead.
He's one of the Miners who remembered losing to Lone Peak in the 2015 semifinals. "Last year, I felt bad for my seniors," Loua said. "I didn't want the same thing to happen to us. I didn't want anybody else crying on the field."
Hansen almost evoked Bingham's tears, instead of his own. With his 15-of-33 passing for 172 yards and 24 runs for 106 yards, he accounted for 57 of Lone Peak's 66 offensive plays. Hansen's 278 total yards couldn't match the 398-yard effort of Chase Hansen in merely the first half of the 2011 title game, as Lone Peak routed Fremont. Even so, Dakota Hansen showed every bit as much toughness as his older brother.
"I'll tell you what, he's a competitor," said Knights coach Mike Mower. "He'll do anything for you and for his buddies."
He just couldn't finish two promising drives in the second half that were fueled mostly by his running. Hansen took the Knights from their 2-yard line to midfield, before Loua intercepted him. Lone Peak then went from its 20 to the Bingham 21 via a 19-play march, only to face fourth and 15 after a holding penalty. The Knights' biggest problem was not so much Langi's interception, but his 61-yard return to the LP 38.
Bingham then positioned itself for Kade Lever's 27-yard field goal that made it 17-10, with the help of a controversial pass-interference penalty "a terrible call, awful call," Mower said.
The Knights will always wonder what would have happened if they could have saved their timeouts and had more than 1:06 to launch their last drive. The fact is, Moody's clinching interception came on a short route, not a desperation pass.
"To have a chance to win in the fourth quarter," Mower said, "what more can you ask for?"
The Knights obviously wanted a better ending, after losing to Herriman in last November's title game. But the Miners got the outcome they deserved.