by Scott Boyle
It wasn’t pretty, but the San Juan Broncos defeated the Monticello Buckaroos anyway in football Friday night in Blanding for the ninth straight time, this time 14-0.
Neither team was able to muster much offensive excitement during the game, but the Broncos took advantage of two consecutive Buckaroo turnovers in the second half to score twice and get the win.
The opposing defenses dominated and the offenses sputtered, with penalties, missed passes and not much progress toward the end zone.
The Broncos’ opening drive lasted four plays, three runs for two yards, and a holding penalty before a punt gave the ball to Monticello. The Buckaroos surprised with their first play, a 37-yard pass from junior quarterback McKade Maloy to Austin Wilcox, but four plays and a holding penalty later, the Bucks also gave up the ball on downs at the Bronco 17.
That pretty much capsulizes the first half and most of the second half... penalties and punts. Both defenses caused turnovers.Bronco QB Terrrance Tate was intercepted by Buckaroo Dillon Maughan, Bronco Max Morley picked-off an Austin Maloy-pass and Buckaroo Jake Giles recovered a Bronco fumble-but no one could capitalize on the turnovers.
The Bucks got into the Bronco red zone twice in the first half, but could not capitalize. The first drive died because of penalities, while the second was stopped in the end zone by a good defensive play on fourth and goal by Bronco Preston Palmer.
The halftime score was 0-0.
The second half was really more of the same. Then, when most figured the game would go into overtime tied at 0-0, suddenly the tide turned.
A Monticello fumble was recovered by the Broncos at the 35-yard line. After sophomore running back Bronz Eldredge packed the pigskin for nine yards, the Bucks were flagged with an unsportsmanlike call, putting the ball on the Buckaroo 11 yard line.
Tate then hit Eldredge in the endzone with an 11-yard touchdown pass to finally light up the lonely scoreboard. And the Broncos led grew to 7-0 when a Norwegian exchange student, Casper Pederson, booted the extra point.
On the Buckaroo’s ensuing possession, QB Austin Maloy was hit as he was throwing, causing a fumble which the Broncos recovered at the Buckaroo 22 yard line.
Tate and Eldredge teamed up one more time, this time from 21 yards, for the Bronco’s second touchdown in three minutes, and the Broncos were up 14-0.
The Bucks tried gamely to get back into the game, blocking a Bronco punt and another Maughan interception, but the offense just couldn’t respond. Final score was 14-0.
Unofficially, Monticello rushed the ball 34 times for 62 yards and completed eight of 15 passes for 97 yards and five first downs.
The Broncos had 74 yards on 27 carries, four completions on 12 passes for 32 yards and two touchdowns, and five first downs.
Next up for the 1-1 Broncos is a home game with 1-1 South Sevier this Friday.
For the Buckaroos, they play in the home opener against the 3A Richfield Wildcats, who are 2-0.
Cross Country Preview
The Buckaroo boys and girls cross-country season outlook is pretty high, according to head coach Jeff Hunt.
Hunt files this preseason report: “The girls have won eight straight region titles and are coming off a fourth place finish at state.
“They lost more than half the team from last season, but newcomers Zoe Chadwick and Kendall Harris add some talent to a team led by Junior veterans Bailey Goodwine, who spent most of last season injured, Cambria Welch and Ashley Hoggard.
“The Lady Bucks have the talent to challenge Panguitch, Wayne and St. Joseph’s for the 1A title.
“The boys are looking to capture their third straight state title and have the enough returning talent to make a serious run. Five of the seven state runners from last year return, led by Senior Easton Nielson.
“They include Tyler Bird, Jens Brewer, Kyler LaRose and Sheldon Black. Others vying for a spot on the varsity squad are Everett Hatch, Tanner Eardley and Eli Johnson.
“With the Norris twins, Panguitch is the most serious threat to knock the boys off. Panguitch showed at the SUU Invite they can push the boys, but the Buckaroos should have the edge based on experience.
“Other teams that should be in the mix are Milford, Bryce Valley and St. Joseph’s.
“The Buckaroo Harriers traveled to Cedar City to compete in the SUU High School Invitational and came away with their best ever finish.
“The boys, led by Easton Nielson, came away with a fifth place finish in the 15 team field. Only 3A teams finished ahead of the boys, who place higher than several XC powerhouse teams such as Richfield, Parawon and San Juan.
“On Easton’s (24th) heels are Tyler Bird (26th) and Jens Brewer (31st) as the boys only had 90 seconds between 1-7.
“For the girls, a shorthanded team with many new runners was paced by Bailey Goodwine. Since it was the first race ever for most of the team, the girls ran in the JV race so they could run together.
“Bailey won the JV run while newcomers Zoe Chadwick and Kendall Harris finished third and ninth respectively, as the girls finished third behind Cedar and Pine View.”