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The narrative has been discussed. Bingham hasn't shied away from it. Last year left a sour taste in the Miners' mouth. They felt dirty about falling short of winning another state championship the only benchmark the premier program in the state of Utah is measured on.
Most programs, though disappointed, would be satisfied with playing in the state semifinals. Not Bingham. Coaches and players said last year was unacceptable. Therefore, this season was about cleansing the remaining residue from the heartache.
On a clear but deceptively chilly Friday afternoon at Rice-Eccles Stadium, the Miners finally put an end to the pain by completing a perfect 14-0 season with a come-from-behind 17-10 win over Lone Peak in the Class 5A state championship.
"I'm numb right now. Speechless," said Bingham's Cole Clemens. "This is the greatest feeling, because ever since we [lost in the 2015 semifinals], we've been grinding so hard. This game made it all worth it."
Bingham improved to 10-2 overall in the state title games, including prevailing in its past five appearances in 2009, '10, '13, '14 and '16. It was the first title for Lambourne as a head coach, after he spent 20-plus years as an assistant under former Bingham coach Dave Peck. The Miners have now completed three 14-0 seasons (2006, '13). No other team has posted more than one 14-win season.
"It's a thrill, but there's a whole bunch of guys over there that are a part of a tremendous building process," Lambourne deflected when asked about his first title. "Coach Peck, he and I came together here in 2000, and things just built and built and built from there."
Lone Peak (12-2) lost for the second consecutive season in the state championship, despite leading 10-0 on a 25-yard Dakota Hansen-Tyler MacPherson hook-up and a 35-yard field goal by Thomas Rossi. The Knights also out-gained Bingham in total offensive yards, 303-267, and nearly held Bingham scoreless in the first half for the first time this season.
"We struggling at the beginning as a defense, but we came right back," said Bingham's Daniel Loua.
But the Miners struck on a 22-yard pass from Matt Degn to Brayden Cosper after a prior connection with Dax Milne down the sideline jump-started the drive.
The momentum-shifting touchdown led to an 8-yard touchdown with 1:12 remaining in the third by Loua "He's got my vote for the MVP of this state," Lambourne said for the Miners' first lead of the game. Kade Lever added a 27-yard field goal with 1:06 in the fourth.
"Lot of courage from our kids," Lambourne said. "They didn't panic. They kept working. I've got to credit our assistant coaches for that. Lot of composure on that sideline amongst a lot of guys who have been doing it for a long time."
The entire season, Bingham has lived by a theme, and as his teammates celebrated the long awaited championship, Langi Tuifua had a message:
"The 'Revenge Tour,' " he said. "It's real. We completed that tour."
Bingham 17, Lone Peak 10
R Bingham finishes with a 14-0 record for the third time in school history en route to its 10th title overall and fifth in the past eight years.
• Lone Peak falls for the second consecutive year in the final.
• The Miners overcome a 10-point first-half deficit with 17 straight points.