by Tad Barton
I took six weeks last season for San Juan to accumulate 75 points. Through two weeks of play the Broncos have already topped that mark (79) scoring 35 points against the visiting Piedra Vista Panthers in addition to the 44 points scored in week one against Monticello.
San Juan used a balanced offensive attack Friday night along with a superb defensive effort, which resulted in the Broncos’ second victory of the season, a 35-8 win over their guests from Farmington, NM.
San Juan wasted no time setting the tone of the game when on the first play from scrimmage Bronz Eldredge forced a fumble, which was then recovered by Jordan Blake.
The Broncos’ opening drive showed promise as they moved the ball inside the 20 yard line before the Panther’s forced their first and only turnover picking off a Payton Palmer pass. Piedra Vista returned the interception into Bronco territory before San Juan’s defense flexed its muscle again forcing a three and out.
On their second possession of the game the Broncos found pay dirt when Trason Jack punched the ball across the goal line from one yard out with 2:28 left in the first quarter. Aaron Mitchell added the extra point and San Juan led 7-0.
San Juan’s next score came in the second quarter when Payton Palmer found the end zone on a three yard run. San Juan went for the two point conversion where Eldredge hit Grant Laws, pushing the Bronco lead to 15-0.
San Juan’s final score of the half came on a seven yard pass from Palmer to Brittain Bowring, Mitchell’s kick failed and the Broncos led 21-0 at the half.
San Juan started off the second half with a bang when Max Morley fielded the Panther kick at the 15-yard line and then turned on the jets. Thirteen seconds and 85 yards later, Morley added another six points to the Broncos score. The PAT by Mitchell was good and the score was 28-0.
San Juan topped off their scoring late in the third quarter when Palmer again found the end zone this time from 11 yards away. Mitchell added another extra point and San Juan’s lead was 35-0.
Piedra Vista’s first score came after Bowring mishandled a Panther punt pinning the Broncos on the one-yard line. Two plays later the Broncos fumbled the ball in their own end zone resulting in a safety making the score 35-2.
The Panthers then used great field position and a couple of Bronco penalties to move the ball inside the ten yard line. The drive resulted in their lone touchdown, the two point conversion failed making the score 35-8 where it would stay until time ran out.
Offensively Palmer was 13 or 25 for 124 yards and one touchdown along with one interception. DiQuan Lopez pulled in five of those passes for 54 yards; he was followed by Laws who had four grabs for 38 yards. Eldredge was close behind with 25 yards on three catches and Bowring rounded things out with two receptions for 10 yards and a touchdown.
On the ground, Jack led all rushers with 45 yards on nine carries and one touchdown. Palmer carried the ball six times for 38 yards and two scores. Morley finished the game with 29 yards while Eldredge chipped in 15 yards and Laws added 13.
The Broncos line backing duo of Jack and Eldredge were an unstoppable force on defense as they both finished the game with 14 tackles. Both also had a sack with Eldredge forcing two fumbles and Jack forcing one.
Right on their heels is Laws who tallied nine stops in the game, he was followed by Kavika Su’eSu’e who registered seven tackles. Holden Smith finished with six tackles and Easton Lee added five. Palmer, Bowring and Morley each had four tackles with Blake, Lopez, Chase Palmer and Reilly Myrick chipping in three tackles each.
Rounding out the tackling for the Broncos was Mason Bathea and Braxton Brown with two tackles and Jon Lewis, Jaxon Lee, Jay McDonald, Coleman Black and Aaron Mitchell each had one tackle respectively.
San Juan hits the road this week traveling to Monroe, Utah to take on the Rams of South Sevier High School. This game will be the first region contest for both teams. Kickoff is set for 7 pm.