by Scott Boyle
It was a return to the successful Austin-powers running combination of the past year that lifted the Buckaroos to a come-from-behind 20-17 win over upstart Summit Academy on Friday night in Monticello.
The Bucks were floundering offensively, a trend that started in the Rich game, after Summit took a failed Buckaroo onside attempt on the opening kickoff and marched right down the field to score on an 18-yard pass play just three minutes into the game.
The Bucks managed only one first down in their first three possessions, and when they couldn’t convert on fourth and three at their own 29, the Bucks were looking lifeless.
PJ Leiatuau and the defense rose up BYU style, however, forcing and recovering a fumble to stop the Bears on the Buck 14 yard line.
Three and out offensively gave the Bears the ball back and they promptly moved to the endzone, scoring on another TD pass, this time of 26 yards, and it was 14-0 early in the second quarter.
The Buckaroo defense finally roused itself and put the clamps on the Bears offense, and when good ole number 68... er...10, Austin Wilcox, went back to receive the first Bear punt of the night, the tide began to change.
Wilcox, who has been playing on the offensive line, as in his freshman year of football, took the punt, sidestepped one Bear defender and returned the ball 35 yards to the Bear 46 yard line.
Riding that big play, Dillon Maughan took the handoff on the first play of the drive and zipped 46 yards to paydirt. The Bucks missed on a fake kick extra point try and it was 14-6.
The Bucks took the second half kickoff and marched right down the field, with #68 now #10 along with his compatriot, Austin Maloy, who moved from QB back to tailback.
But after the Bucks reached the seven yard line, a motion penalty and an incomplete pass ended the drive at the 12-yard line. Wilcox carried the ball nine times for 63 yards in that drive alone.
The Bucks finally scored again on an outstanding 29-yard pass from Austin Maloy to Leiatuau, who ripped the ball out of the air away from two defenders and bulled his way into the endzone, 14-12.
The Bears added a 38-yard field goal after another unsuccessful onsides kick, and with 4:38 left in the game, the Bears looked comfortable at 17-12.
Things looked bleak after Wilcox was carried off the field on a stretcher suffering a stinger (he’s ok), with just 3:30 left to play and silencing the speechless home crowd. But Wilcox’ mom fired up the stunned Buckaroo offense with an impromptu pep talk as Wilcox was carried off the field.
The resurgent Bucks promptly marched down the field behind the play of Austin Maloy. Maloy rushed for 39 yards in the drive and after Leiatuau rammed his way downfield on a 43 yard pass from McKade Maloy, Austin Maloy battled his way into the end zone from 15 yards out.
The Bucks added the two point conversion and it was 20-17 with 1:50 remaining.
But it wasn’t over yet, the Bears went right back down the field via the pass, and with just 33 seconds left, were on the Buck six yard line, looking not to tie on a field goal, but to score a touchdown for the win.
Their last pass however, found its way into the leaping arms of #3, Austin Maloy in the endzone, and the Bucks had survived.
On the night the Bears blistered the Buckaroo secondary with 224 yards passing, completing 15 of 24 passes. The Buck defense rose to the occasion though and stopped the Bears for most of the game, helping the Bucks win.
For their part, Monticello had 262 yards rushing and 110 yards passing. Both the Austins ended with 85 yards rushing. Dillon Maughan added 43 yards, Cole Eldredge 24, and Brian Robinson 23.
The 5-1 Buckaroos travel to 1-5 Altamont this Friday for a non-region game.
Broncos win again
San Juan is rushing through their 2A South opponents in dominate fashion, posting another shutout while shellacking Richfield, 40-0.
Barkley Christensen accounted for three touchdowns, on an eight yard pass to Bobby Bowring, a fumble recovery and a 24-yard run.
Logan Meyer dashed his way to two TDs on runs of 12 and one yards, and Justin Nielson added a four yard run for a TD, as the 6-0 Broncos battered the Wildcats to a 34-0 halftime lead.
The younger Broncos are getting lots of valuable playing time.
Richfield last defeated San Juan in 2007 (27-21), the Wildcats’ only victory over the Broncos since 1980, although they only met on a regular basis from 2001-08 since the 1980 season.
San Juan is now 16-4 vs. Richfield.
Next up for the Broncos is Kanab, at Kanab, followed by another key road game at resurgent Beaver, who boasts a 5-1 record this year and are in second place in the region standings.
George Felt, Utah High School football historian, highlighted Summit Academy and the traveling their football team has done this year.
Felt bemoaned the fact that Summit has traveled nearly 3,000 miles thus far this year to play in their inaugural football season.
No mention was made, however, about the over 2,000 miles both the Bucks and Broncos will travel this year, not counting playoff games, which could easily add another 1,000 miles a piece.
Buckaroo Cross Country racers traveled 400 miles to a XC meet in their same district at Navajo Mountain.
Buckaroo Collin Hatch led the way in the boys raise, leading three other Buckaroos to the finish line as the Bucks captured the first four places and 10 of the first 12.
Right behind Hatch was Justin Wright, Jens Brewer and Easton Nielson in 2nd-4th places and Sheldon Black and Tyler Bird were sixth and seventh.
Everett Hatch, Kyler LaRose, Tanner Eardley and Nash Freestone were 9th thru 11th.
Brittany Keith was third in the girls race, followed by Elena Mitchell in fourth, Cambria Welch in sixth, Bailey Goodwine in eighth, and Ashley Hoggard, Brittany Redd, and Kaitlin Clark in 10th, 11th, and 12th.