by Scott Boyle
So, if you’re down two sets to none to a volleyball program with 16 state championships, including eight in a row at one point, odds are that the team with all those state championships is going to win the match.
Try and tell that to the Monticello Lada Buckaroo volleyball team, who rallied from two sets down to beat the Rich Rebels 3-2 on Saturday to capture third place at the 1A state volleyball championships at UVU.
Monticello got to the third place game after losing to the eventual state champions, the Panguitch Bobcats, in the semifinals, 0-3. Panguitch prevailed over the Buckaroos in straight sets, 25-18, 25-23, 25-15.
Monticello made it to the semis without losing a set, beating Valley in the tournament opener 25-13, 28-26, 25-10 and Duchesne in the quarterfinals, 25-15, 25-12, and 25-17.
The Lady Buckaroos played a great match with Rich, losing 25-22 in the first set after leading late in the set, and then losing the second game 26-24 after taking a 24-21 lead.
But the gals from Monticello kept their heads up and stayed in the game, winning tight suspenseful games of 25-23 and 26-24 to tie the match at two apiece.
In the fifth and deciding set, the Lady Rebels jumped to an early 5-1 lead but the tied it at 7 and then extended the lead to 11-7. The Rebels closed to within two but Monticello kept the pressure on to get the third place spot, 15-11.
The Lady Buckaroos end the season with a 21-7 record. With only two seniors on the team – three year starter Shania DeAnda and Loren Nielson, a two year starter – look for the Buckaroos vying for the state championship again next year.
The Monticello Buckaroo football team continued their stellar play of late with a hard-fought 34-18 quarterfinal win over a determined Milford Tiger squad Friday afternoon in Monticello.
The win puts the Bucks in the semi-finals against the number one seed Rich Rebels at Weber State stadium on Saturday November 7 at 11 a.m.
Milford, having never beat the Buckaroos in 12 tries, set a determined tone early, forcing a three and out on Monticello’s first possession, then scoring on a 41 yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback, Jordan Hardy to Nathan Barnes. With 8:37 left in the first quarter Milford was on top, 6-0.
That lead held up for the rest of the quarter as the teams traded punts. Then the Buckaroos got the break they needed when Isaiah Sheeran pounced on a Tiger fumble and the Bucks were in business at the Milford 35 yard line.
After an incomplete pass, seven running plays later the Bucks found paydirt on a five-yard Cole Eldredge blast up the middle.
Eldredge carried five times in the drive for 24 yards. Talon Black’s PAT gave the Bucks their first lead with 4:01 left in the half. Milford marched right down the field, however, after the Buck TD, to score with 58 seconds left in the half on another Hardy to Barnes pass play, this time from 20 yards out.
But the Bucks returned the favor, covering 61 yards in just four plays, aided by a Milford personal foul. First, Buck QB Makade Maloy found Alma Beh for nine yards, then Andrew Torres for 16 yards and after the penalty, Maloy lofted a perfect strike to Brian Tanner in the endzone only to see the ball slip out of Tanner’s grasp incomplete.
But the Bucks went right back to Tanner, running the exact same play, with Maloy putting the ball in the same place and this time Tanner held on to score with just seven seconds left in the half from 21 yards out. Black’s second PAT of the half gave the Buckaroos a confidence building 14-12 halftime lead.
In the second half, the Buckaroo defense took over, holding the Tigers to just 38 yards rushing after giving up nearly 90 in the first half. The Bucks stopped the Tiger’s opening drive of the second half and when the Tigers fumbled the snap on the punt attempt, Monticello had the ball at the Tiger 21.
Two Cole Eldredge runs, of 18 and three yards, gave the Bucks another TD and suddenly it was 21-12 and the Bucks had a little breathing room. Later in the quarter, the Monticello defense forced another Milford turnover when Makade Maloy, who has made interceptions kind of a habit this year, picked off Hardy and returned the ball 35 yards to the Milford 33.
After an MHS penalty, Eldredge took a screen pass from Maloy and rambled 38 yards down the sidelines to the five yard line. Two plays later, Thomas Anderson scored from the one yard line and it was 28-12.
Milford didn’t quit however, scoring on their next possession on an eight-yard run by Wade Netto. The PAT was again no good, though and Monticello led 28-18 with 7:50 left in the game.
Monticello closed out the game on their next drive, covering 57 yards in seven running plays, aided by another Milford personal foul, capped by another Eldredge four yard paydirt run for the final score 34-18.
On the night, the Buckaroos rushed for 168 yards, with Eldredge being the workhorse, carrying the ball 29 times for 123 yards and three touchdowns. Maloy was six of nine the passing department for 116 yards and one touchdown and no interceptions. The Bucks had just one turnover on the game.
It’s a rematch of an earlier season game for the Buckaroos in the semis, against the Rebels. The Rebels spoiled the Buckaroos homecoming back on September 26, 34-12 after the Buckaroos had four turnovers.