by Scott Boyle
“It felt like Monticello football on Friday night,” whooped Buckaroo head coach JC Hall, after the Bucks totally surprised the number three ranked Duchesne Eagles 21-12, in a homecoming match.
The Buckaroos dominated in all aspects of the game, particularly the defense, where senior nose guard Jesse Barton controlled the middle of the field, tossing down ten Eagle runners.
Fellow senior Chase Randall and outside linebacker Kendall Maughan, a sophomore, controlled everything else for the Bucks, with 12 and nine tackles respectively.
The Bucks were stingy inside the red zone. The Eagles got in the Buckaroo redzone numerous times during the game, but had little to show for it. The only Eagle scores came on two long runs of 38 and 30 yards.
On offense, the Bucks used their big play ability to keep the Eagles behind the entire night. After punting on their first two series, the Bucks found homecoming magic when senior quarterback Daniel Torres found sophomore Devin Wright with a perfectly placed pass that Wright caught in full stride and outraced the Eagle defender to the endzone. The play wowed the homecoming fans and covered 73 yards.
Not to be outdone, Gabe Beh grabbed a similar perfect Torres pass (PTP) and outswooped the Eagles for a 78 yard touchdown pass later in the second quarter to give the Bucks a 15-6 lead just 1:21 before halftime.
Catching the Eagles with their eyes closed, the Bucks were successful on an onsides kick to start the second half and then immediately, Torres executed another PTP to Wright that covered 52 yards to paydirt and just like that, the Bucks were up 21-6 and the game looked to be in hand.
The Eagles kept pushing the ball deep into Buck territory, but the defense made stand after stand to preserve the much-needed league victory.
“First of all,” Hall yelped, “I am very proud of our boys, they deserve this win. I honestly feel that they can make a run the rest of the season. I feel that they came out willing to do whatever it took to get a win. I will steal one of Coach Bowrings sayings, “Willing to Win,” and they were willing to win on Friday night.
I was very impressed with our crowd. They were in the game all four quarters. I just want these boys to know how proud I am of them; they keep bouncing back week after week.
“Our captains got the team fired up in pre-game and wouldn’t let the fire die all night. I believe in this team and believe in their hearts.
They came out on Friday believing in themselves and I know that is a huge confidence boost to them. This was a big win against a great team and they need to know that. I am excited for this week and I know we can turn some heads these last three games.”
This week finds the Bucks at home again in a rematch with Parowan. Parowan won the endowment game in early August, 24,12, but this is the one that counts.
Shutout for Broncos
With their second shut-out in three weeks, the Broncos moved to 7-0 after a 33-0 whacking of the Beavers from Beaver in Blanding Friday night.
Allowing only 9.5 points per game, the Bronco defense is getting noticed with their stellar efforts each week.
Coach Monty Lee praised, “They just keep improving every week and it is a credit to Coaches Eldredge and Shumway for getting them ready every week. They are quick and want to make an impression every play. They work hard every day in practice and have a fun every Friday.”
Sophomore Peyton Black led the defensive rush with 15 tackles against the Beavers, while fellow sophomore Stetler Shumway (11), senior Kohler Black (10), Oliver Parker and Nate Einerson (9), and Jace Holliday and Jimmy Tate (8) kept the Beavers from chewing on the endzone.
The Bronco defense made a remarkable impression on the Beavers offense. Of the Broncos’ 98 tackles in the game, 88 were assisted, meaning it was a swarming Bronco stampede that dammed up the Beaver offense.
This week finds the Broncos preparing for the Grand County Devils, a match-up that has created some outstanding games in the past few years.
Coach Lee says he is preparing for the Red Devils “pretty much like every week, looking at the Red Devils like they are the most important game of the year. Ask USC and the other football teams around the country what happens when you take a team lightly.
“I bet Grand will be ready to play so we owe it to them, the fans, and to ourselves to play our best. Don’t you just love high school football?”
So focused are the Broncos on Grand that Lee admits, “I haven’t even looked at the playoffs,” which begin in two weeks.
Volleyball news spikes
With a three set victory over Whitehorse, the Lady Buckaroos are moving towards tournament time.
Says head coach Tony Esplin, “We are still plugging away. Our current record is 20 and 4. It is hard to keep the girls motivated when our competition level has dropped off in region play.
“Whitehorse gave us a good match last Thursday, as they always do. They play good defense and just kept the ball coming back at us. However, we did win in three straight, 25-23,25-18, and 25-22.”
The Bucks travel to Navajo Mountain on Thursday and are prepping for next Tuesday, October 14, when San Juan comes to Monticello.
“That will be a tough game for us as it always is,” states Esplin.
Cross country races
Last Wednesday, the Buckaroo’s made the short 20 mile trip to Blanding to participate in the 13th Annual John Thornton Invitational hosted by San Juan High School.
Adam Butler ran away with his 4th individual title this year by blazing the three mile course in 16:34. His team backed him up by cruising to a second place finish behind Montezuma-Cortez.
Freshman Kelland Brewer was next at 14, followed by David Boyle, Sean Getter, Trent Sonderegger, Casey Randall and Trey Esplin.
Marveled Buck coach Jeff Hunt, “Behind Adam, the six other varsity runners were all within 50 seconds of each other. That is pack running at its best.”
Taylor Francom’s 4th place finish led the Broncos to a third place team trophy. Running well for the Broncos are Jade Grover, Cody Hatcher, Michael Flavel, Kyson Shumway and Dallas Hall.
The Junior Varsity boys were led by Andrew Redd, Hans Hurst, Ryan Gardner and Evan Black.
Top ten finishes for the San Juan girls were by Katie Hiatt and Brielle Francom, followed by Danielle Wilson, Makenzie Ward and Kelli Meyer, helping the Lady Broncos secure a first place team trophy.
Freshman Kelli Meyer passed a Grand County runner just before the finish to secure the win. San Juan won with 57 points, Mancos was 58 and Grand 59.
Marveled San Juan coach Kimberly Hiatt, “This was the tightest team finish we’ve ever seen. It shows how important each individual member is to the team as a whole.”
The Lady Broncos are currently running without senior Michelle Keith and freshman Rylee Lyman who hope to be back in time for the Region 12 Championships in Moab on October 14.
The Junior Varsity girls won the team trophy, sweeping the top four places with Tya Manygoats, Sam Bergeman, Jessica Bergeman and Kimber Mitchell.
Freshman Shelby Lewis was the top finisher for Monticello at 18th. Marisa Schmidt (25), Julie Butler (26), Hannah Boyle (29) and Jen Mantz (31) rounded out the girls.
For the JV, Jamie Pipkin finish 5th and Risha Price was 13th for the girls while Jacob Shakespeare, Dallin Anderson, and Paul Barton finished 6th, 22nd, and 34th.
The Monticello Jr. High kicked up some dust on the last meet of the year. Nash Freestone led the team to a second place finish behind ARL, by finishing second, followed by Justin Wright (8), Easton Nielson (9), Van DeMille (16), Sheldon Lewis (20) and Collin Hatch (30).
Kayla McArthur led the girls by finishing second, followed by Brittany Keith (11) and Becca Getter (34).
Buckaroo harriers spent Saturday at the huge Orem Kiwanis Invite. Macee Nielson and Adam Butler continued their stellar seasons with eighth and 21st place finishes. Hannah Boyle continued her great improvement of late by finishing third in the JV race. Fellow Buck runner, Rachel Beh, came in twelfth.
Reports Hiatt, “The Broncos traveled to Cortez for the Trail of Ancients Invitational, a long and challenging cross-country course.
The girls’ team won the runner-up trophy with a 3rd place finish by Katie Hiatt and 5th place by Brielle Francom, while the boys were 4th place. Taylor Francom placed 2nd overall. According to coach Steve Hiatt, “the boys are running really well against 3A and 4A schools from throughout the four corners region.”
The Broncos have the week off in preparation for Region 12 Championships next Tuesday, October 14 starting at 4 p.m. at the Moab Golf Course.
All San Juan cross-country fans are encouraged to come out and cheer these two teams on in their attempt at Region titles.