South Jordan • Bingham fully comprehends the stakes. The nation is watching as Bishop Gorman (Nev.), the consensus top-ranked program in America, invades South Jordan on Friday at 7 p.m.
“We’re not only representing Bingham, we’re representing the state of Utah — that we can play football as well as any other state,” said junior defensive tackle Jay Tufele. “… It’s probably the biggest game in Bingham history.”
The Miners (2-0), who are ranked as high as No. 7 nationally, finished 13-2 last season, with the only two setbacks occurring against nationally-ranked out-of-state opponents: Bishop Gorman, 23-20 in overtime, and Booker T. Washington (Fla.), 34-28 in overtime. They let leads slip away in both games, which, as Tufele described: “has been stinging ever since.”
“We put ourselves in position to win twice and came out empty-handed,” said Bingham coach John Lambourne. “We’ve been emphasizing the overtime thing throughout the offseason, because our intentions are to go out and win the football game, and then let all the other things that come with that come. For us, it’s that 48 minutes on the field that we need to take care of.”
The majority of the national coverage this week has centered on the Gaels (1-0), who have won 25 consecutive games, and justifiably so. It’s almost comical to evaluate the roster and realize it’s one high school in Las Vegas. For instance, Bishop Gorman features: Tate Martell (five-star quarterback committed to Texas A&M), Tyjon Lindsey (four-star receiver), Haskell Garrett (four-star defensive end), Alex Perry (four-star corner committed to Arizona State), Biaggio Ali-Walsh (three-star running back), Bubba Bolden (three-star safety), Ikem Okeke (three-star OLB), Julio Garcia (offensive tackle committed to UNLV) and Jaron Caldwell (offensive tackled committed to UNLV).
Bingham isn’t exactly devoid of talent, though, which has led to the attitude of being overlooked, a feeling certainly uncommon for the Miners.
“It’s a really big game for us,” said Bingham defensive end Langi Tuifua. “We have a lot of dirt on Bishop Gorman from last year. We’re lookin’ to come back this year and see what we can do.”
More than anything, the exposure provides another opportunity for Bingham to expand its brand into national notoriety, but as Lambourne explained — exposure can also be negative if the Miners play poorly.
“I think it’s awesome for Utah high school football,” Lambourne said. “We’ve kind of been off the radar for a number of years, and we’ve gradually built ourselves into a little bit more national prominence — not just us, but a lot of schools that have gone out. I think it’s a good thing, of course we’ve got to play well, or it can be a bad thing.”