It took the San Juan High School football team just 2:22 to score their first touchdown on South Sevier Friday, September 20 in Monroe. Although the Rams put up a fight, especially early on, they were ultimately no match for the Bronco offense in a 70-28 spanking.
San Juan got their first touchdown on a one-yard Shaw Nielson run. Kian Conway added another just over three minutes later, and the Broncos led 14-0 midway through the first quarter.
South Sevier scored their first TD of the night on the first play of their next possession. Then the two teams traded one more score apiece before the horn sounded to end the first quarter with San Juan on top 21-14.
That was where the night ended for South Sevier. San Juan rattled off three unanswered touchdowns to begin the second quarter, and never looked back.
Bronco quarterback Shaw Nielson passed for 452 yards and 5 touchdowns in the game, all to different receivers. He is now ranked sixth in the nation with 1,767 passing yards on the season, and the Broncos move into second in the country in total offensive yards with 3,160.
As strong as the San Juan offense was Friday night, the defense struggled. Head coach Barkley Christensen said they couldn’t tackle all night long, and it’s a problem that has plagued the Broncos in more than one game this year.
“Our boys were pretty upset about how we were doing on defense,” He said about the team during halftime. “You would have thought we were were down going into the locker room.”
The defensive issues further fueled the offense though, which was pretty obvious on the scoreboard after the final buzzer.
“When we played American Leadership and Grantsville, we got up pretty big and the kids started letting up,” Christensen said. “They learned from those games and the offense kept their foot on the gas pedal and put them away.”
Christensen was pleased with the way the Broncos spread the offense around. Porter Ivins, Ladd Ivins, Ryan Imlay, Davis Mendoza, and Randall Flavel all caught touchdown passes.
Kian Conway rushed for 154 yards and three touchdowns. Nielson and Jensen Grover added the remaining two TDs on the ground for San Juan.
The Broncos plan to hit the tackling drills hard this week in preparation for a tough Region 12 matchup with the rival Grand County Red Devils, who come to Blanding this Friday, September 27.
Coach Christensen said San Juan is also mixing the scheme up defensively in an effort to shut down the Grand quarterback, Bryant Troutt, who has rushed for 757 yards and six touchdowns on the season.
Christensen expects the Red Devils to bring a run-heavy offense, which has been the Achilles’ heel of his defense.
It’s setting up to be a fun Friday night in Blanding: it’s homecoming for San Juan (4-2, 1-0) and Grand (3-3, 1-0) is coming off a second-place finish in 2018.
The Broncos and Red Devils kick it off at 7 p.m. on the San Juan High School football field. When the dust settles, the winner will sit atop the Region 12 standings.