Prep football: Bingham's offense too much for Cottonwood

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Bingham's offense blended the run and the pass to perfection and its defense made Alabama-bound Cooper Bateman look average at best in a 34-14 nonregion victory over Cottonwood on Friday night.

The Miners (4-1) passed for 168 yards and rushed for 138 more in what coach Dave Peck called their best game of the season.

Senior running back Tonga Manu scored three touchdowns, on runs of 8, 38 and 2 yards, and Bingham scored on each of its three second-half possessions to win its third in a row.

"My O-line had some terrific blocks," said Manu, who rushed 14 times for 118 yards. "We held strong from the first quarter all the way through the fourth."

Meanwhile, Cottonwood (0-4) continued to struggle on offense. The Colts were held to less than 20 points for the third time this season, and quarterback Bateman threw for 142 yards on 19-of-34 passing.

What the Miners did best, though, was limit Cottonwood's big plays. The Colts had only five plays go for more than 10 yards, and only one — a 19-yard pass from Bateman to Alex Walton — went for more than 13 yards.

"That's a dangerous team," Peck said. "We know they are capable of putting some things together and moving the ball. They played a good game.

"[Cottonwood] is a quarterfinal, semifinal team, absolutely, if they put all the pieces together. They are very dangerous."

Bateman scored a 5-yard rushing touchdown in the second half — his fourth rushing TD of the season — and connected with Gabe Hosea on an 11-yard score on the Colts' second possession.

Bingham capitalized on the game's only real miscue — a fumbled snap on a would-be Colts punt at the Cottonwood 10. Three plays later, Manu rumbled in for the first of his three scores.

Manu has scored in each of Bingham's games this season and has eight rushing TDs on the season.