by Scott Boyle
The Monticello Buckaroos’ football season ended on a low note as well, as they all do except for the state champion, when they fell in frosty Randolph, Utah to the Rich Rebels in the 1A quarterfinals, 23-14.
The Bucks put up a valiant effort against the Rebels, trailing just 8-6, after Andrew Torres scored a touchdown on an eight yard pass from QB Brayson Wilcox late in the second quarter. But, with just seconds left in the first half, the Rebels traveled the length of the field in just four plays, including a long passed that was tipped by Alma Beh, to score touchdown to take back the momentum and a 16-6 halftime lead. Then, when the Rebels scored on the opening drive of the second half to go up 23-6, it looked grim for the Bucks.
However, the gritty Buckaroos kept their heads in the game, kept plugging away at the Rebels, stepped up their defensive pressure and made things interesting for the Rebels. The Bucks shut out the Rebel offense the rest of the game and started moving the ball, and when Torres caught another Wilcox pass for a touchdown from seven yards with eight minutes remaining, with the Bucks adding a two point conversion, the score was 23-14 and the Rebels were on their heels. However, as the sky darkened and the sun set on an unlit Rebel field, the Bucks couldn’t captitalize on their drives in the red zone, and another Buckaroo drive as the clock wound down ended with the Bucks inside the Rebel 20, unable to punch it in and the 2015 season was over. The Bucks end their season with a 5-6 record. Buckaroo head coach Art Adair is proud of his boys and their play against Rich. “We had a couple of mental mistakes, but other than that, we played alright.” he stated. “We let Rich go down and score just before the half. They got lucky on a long pass, Alma Beh tipped the ball but the Rich receiver kept his eye on the ball and went and got it. Couldn’t play much better defense on Alma’s part. We played a lot better than the first time we played them (a 24-0 Rich win). We got down inside the red zone several times but just couldn’t punch it in.”
“We played great defense all year,” Adair continued. “I think we were better than what the record showed. I think we shoulda beat Kanab and shoulda beat Rich, but those things just happen.” For next year the Bucks will have a lot of underclassmen returning, but will have to replace four of five offensive linemen, with only junior Parker Knudsen returning.