6A football semifinals: American Fork OT victory against Bingham was a long time in the making

SALT LAKE CITY — The jubilation of the American Fork players and coaches celebrated more than an overtime victory against perennial power Bingham.

It capped a rise from mediocrity, nine years in the making, and it means more than simply a trip to the 6A championship game for the second-ranked team.

“It’s a big deal for us,” said head coach Aaron Beam after the Cavemen defeated region rival and top-ranked Bingham 28-21 in overtime. “We’ve come a long way in nine years, since not having a shot against these guys. Bingham does such a good job year in and year out, and so to finally get them, it means something.”

“It’s a big deal for us.”

American Fork coach Aaron Beam

To the players who earned the stunning victory that featured jaw-dropping offensive plays and some big defensive moments, it was difficult to put it into words.

“They’re a good team,” said senior linebacker Tanner Vickers, who recovered a fumble in the game. “We knew it would be a challenge, but we finally did it. It’s a dream come true, honestly. …It felt like a dream.”

American Fork got the ball first and scored after three plays that ended with a spectacular catch from Devin Downing, who caught the touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone over the shoulder of a defender.

After a holding call forced Bingham into a difficult 19 yards to go on second down, and on fourth and nine, a pass was intercepted by Jeremiah Shipley.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Downing. “I’m so excited.”

Bingham scored first when quarterback Peyton Jones connected with Josh Wolf at 7:21 in the first quarter. American Fork answered about two minutes later when Boone Abbott scored on a four-yard run to tie the game at 7-7. Bingham scored with 2:11 left in the second quarter, when Avi Parikh caught a 31-yard pass from Jones.

Coach Beam said his defense played better in the second half, while the offense found it’s rhythm thanks to Boone’s fearless ingenuity and the outstanding performance of the team’s receivers, including especially Devin Downing.

Dallin Johnson scored on a four-yard pass from Abbott in the third quarter, and then Abbott would score on a nine-yard run. Bingham scored the game-tying quarterback with 5:20 to play, when Jones connected with Briasen Harward for a 19-yard pass play.

The teams’ defenses forced each other to punt. American Fork kicker Kyle Thompson nearly ended the game in regulation when he attempted a 49-yard field goal with just seconds on the clock, and it was long enough, just a bit too wide.

“I felt really confident,” Beam said. “We just ran out of time there with that long field goal. I felt super confident that our offense would go down and score.”

Beam said he didn’t change what he said to the team throughout the game.

“We just said this game is going to be 150 plays, and we’ve got to play all of them,” he said. “What’s what we said before the game, and at halftime, we said, we have about …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


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