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Sandy • Bingham delivered an emphatic message to anyone questioning if the Class 5A powerhouse was vulnerable this season:

If you come at the king, you best not miss.

The top-ranked Miners manhandled fourth-ranked Jordan in the trenches on both sides of scrimmage, the offense rolled with flawless effectiveness — both on the ground and in the sky — and the defense stumped and flustered the top offensive unit in the state en route to a convincing 56-42 win to claim at least a share of the Region 3 title.

It marked the 34th consecutive victory against an in-state opponent for the two-time defending state champions, who led 49-19 late in the third quarter before Jordan made the final score respectable in garbage time. The Miners have now won six straight and 10 of 11 against the Beetdiggers.

The storyline all week was Bingham's offense versus Jordan's defense. The Miners' proficiency on defense — five shutouts in eight games, allowing 2.8 points per game against Utah teams — was well-documented, as was Jordan's arsenal on offense, which entered the contest averaging nearly 50 points and 540 yards per game.

The question was: Which program's "ugly" unit would step up to the test.

"We needed to prove that our offense wasn't the weakest link," said Bingham tailback Jahvontay Smith. "…We needed to prove we had it immediately."

Mission accomplished. Two touchdown runs by Smith (25 and 21 yards) and another by Brady Atkin (7) spotted the Miners an early 21-point lead with 8:06 remaining until intermission. With the surge up front, which Bingham coach John Lambourne said was "probably the most consistent effort we've had" from the offensive line, the Miners methodically maneuvered down the field behind Smith, Atkin and Elvis Vakapuna sharing reps. Three yards. Do it again. Jordan had no answer.

"The nature of the game that we play — you get some bumps and bruises," Lambourne said. "I didn't feel like we wore out. We were pretty consistent the whole way through."

It wasn't until Jordan (7-2) responded with two quick scoring drives — a 1-yard run by Alec Evans and 12-yard pass from Drew Lisk to Jackson Bolingbroke — that Bingham (8-1) lulled the 'Diggers to sleep. The Miners unexpectedly called three passes on the first four plays on the ensuing drive, including play-action on first down, to set up Parker Taufa's 7-yard burst.

"We do what we feel like we need to do at any given game, and that's what I thought we needed to do with this game," Lambourne said. "Naturally you're taking some time off the clock and keeping them off the field, and that's what we wanted to do more than anything."

Jordan then mishandled a poor exchange in shotgun on its next possession, as the snap bounced off the turf, allowing Bingham's BJ Taufalele to scoop and score from 7 yards out.

Halftime: Bingham 35, Jordan 13.

So in case anyone forgot: Don't mess with the champs.

Twitter: @trevorphibbs —


R Bingham wins its 34th consecutive in-state game with a convincing performance against Jordan.

• The Miners lead 21-0, then 35-13 at halftime and 49-19 late in the third quarter.