Buck boys claim fourth straight XC title
by Scott Boyle
Veni, Vidi, V8!
Tyler Bird led the Monticello boys cross country team to their fourth straight 1A state championship on October 22 on a beautiful day in Sugar House Park , while motoring to a second place finish.
Bird was 21 seconds behind winner Ethan Young of Milford to pace the Bucks to a 51-78 win over second place Panguitch with a time of 16:52. The Bucks have aced out the Bobcats for the title three years in a row.
And three seniors closely followed Bird to the finish line, Sheldon Black, fifth in 17:27, Jens Brewer was 14th in 18:13 , and Everett Hatch, 17th in 18:24. Rounding out the Buckaroo scoring is Eli Johnson, a junior, who finished in 23rd place at 18:35.
Freshman Ryan Bird and sophomore Jared Crowley proved their readiness to step up next year to replace the seniors with 35th and 40th place finishes, with times of 19:06 and 19.33.
For Black and Brewer, this title was their fourth also, running and scoring in all four Buckaroo titles.
Black finished 15th as a freshman in 2011, 13th as a sophomore and 11th last year. Brewer’s four finishes were 17th (2011), 12th, 12th and 14th.
Bird, just a junior, ran for the last three winning teams, finishing 14th as a freshman in 2012, and tenth last year. He has improved his time more than a minute in the past two years.
Everett Hatch, who placed 16th last year, joins older brother Collin, who paced the Buckaroos to their first two championships, with two championships apiece. Eli Johnosn also ran to his second ring with a 23rd place finish last year.
Bailey Goodwine made her last state XC championship run her best with a fifth place finish in the girls 1A race. Goodwine ran the scenic, winding course in 21:21, to pull the Buckaroo gals to a fourth place finish.
Kendal Harris was 15th overall in 22:56 to aid the Lady Buckaroo cause.
Also placing for the gals are Molly Anderson, 34th in 25:45, Nathalie Reay in 26:20 and Cambria Welch, 43rd in 26:22. Aunika Hunter and Lindsey Crowley were 49th and 54th.
Goodwine finishes her Buckaroo XC career with four top ten finishes. This is an amazing feat, not matched since Macee Nielson finished in the top three for four years in a row.
As a freshman, she was tenth overall when the Bucks team finished fifth. In her sophomore year, she finished eighth on a fourth place Buckaroo team and last year, a fifth place finish as Kendal Harris helped the Ladies finished second to Panguitch by also placing in the top ten.
Panguitch girls won their fourth in a row, paced by Whitni Orton, a junior who easily won her third state individual title in a row. Teammate Catania Holman finished second for the third time. She also placed third as a sophomore. Another Lady Bobcat, Darri Frandsen, was fourth to give the Lady Bobcats an unbeatable lineup.
Whitehorse’s Rafael Begaye paced the Raiders to a fifth place team finish in boys 1A by finishing sixth individually. Josh Dixon, Tyrell Whitney, Sheldon Blackwater and Rydell Silas all ran well for the Raiders.
Kick the Kowboys
Not letting a little ole early season shellacking – to the tune of 40-7 – stop them, the Buckaroos of MHS played with True Grit Friday night in Monticello to pull out a thrilling 14-6 win over the Kanab Cowboys.
Back on September 12 in Kanab, the Cowboys rode three pick sixes in a row to an easy victory.
This time around, senior running back and middle linebacker Cole Eldredge picked up the Bucks and put ‘em on his back to inspire the Bucks to the important win.
The win gives the Bucks a home quarterfinal game this week against the Milford Tigers, as opposed to traveling to Duchesne for a quarterfinal game.
Eldredge powered the Buckaroo offense with 180 yards on 24 rushes as the Bucks as a team rushed for 226 yards and 40 yards passing in a ground oriented game. Kanab had 230 yards rushing and 50 yards passing.
According to George Felt, Utah High School Football historian, Kanab is 16-4 vs. Monticello, including both games this season. In 2013, the two also split their games with Kanab winning the non-region game and Monticello taking the region contest.
The series began in 1968 and their first five meetings were in the state playoffs. Eight of their all-time meetings have been in the postseason.
Monticello won the first two, but then Kanab went on a 15-game winning streak against the Bucks from 1974 through the first meeting in 2013 (September 13). Monticello has, of course, taken two of three since.
The difference this time around is the bend-but-don’t-break defense of the Buckaroos, who stopped the Cowboy ground game three times inside the 20 yard line on the night,
“We needed that win”, beamed a happy Buckaroo head coach, Art Adair after the game. “When we needed a defensive stand, we got it.”
Brian Tanner forced a game-deciding Kanab fumble on the Buckaroo 11 yard line as the Cowboys were driving for a touchdown with just 55 seconds left which Buckaroo defensive lineman, Jose Santana, pounced on to save the Buckaroo win. It was the only turnover of the night for either team in the well-played competitive game.
It was easily the Buckaroo’s best game of the year as they only had one penalty on the night, a pass interference call on the first series of the game.
MHS took the lead early in the game, with Cole Eldredge mining his way through the Kanab defense for a 60-yard scoring dash with six minutes left in the first quarter. Talon Black added the PAT and the Bucks led 7-0.
After the teams traded possessions, Kanab mounted a drive on 16 straight running plays, a 55 yard drive that took six minutes off the clock in the second quarter, looking to tie the game.
But Eldredge, Tobyn Esplin and Dustin Christensen rose up to stop the Cowboys on fourth and goal at the one yard line to keep the Bucks in front with just a minute or two left in the half.
Then Eldredge rushed the ball on four straight carries for 28 yards to get the Bucks out of their own red zone and Maloy ran out the half with a 38 yard carry to keep the Bucks up 7-0.
Kanab started another drive after taking the second half kickoff and marched right back down the field, threatening to score again. And after an inadvertent whistle gave the Cowboys new life on an incomplete pass, the Buck defense rose again, with Eldredge and Brandon Musselman stuffing a Kanab run for no gain on fourth and five at the Buckaroo 17.
Then, a 52-yard punt by Tyler Bird got the Bucks out of a hole, and a Brayson Wilcox sack on the Kanab QB followed by a short punt the Bucks mounted the game-deciding drive on their own 47.
Eldredge got 14 yards on three carries and Brian Tanner caught a key fourth down 12 yard pass to keep the drive alive, before Maloy hit junior Andrew Torres on a beautiful pass play to paydirt from 26 yards with 1:48 left in the third quarter. 14-0 after the Talon Black PAT.
Then the Buckaroo defense held on as the Cowboys desperately tried to get back into the game.
Eldredge also led the defensive charge with 16 tackles. Musselman had eight tackles and Christensen, Paul DeAnda, Isaiah Sheeran, and Santana took turns getting tackles from the defensive line, as defensive coordinator, Cole Young, effectively kept a fresh supply of lineman in the game.
Monticello plays Milford at home in the quarterfinals. Felt reports that Monticello is 21-0 against Milford. They last met Oct. 18, 2012 when the Bucks decimated the Tigers, 52-6. The three scores before that: 38-12 (2010), 48-15 (2011), 64-30 (2011 quarterfinal). The series began in 1985.
Also This Week
Volleyball, as the Buckaroos begin play for their third state championship in four years.
San Juan begins their quest for another crown without the services of star player, Tatianna Su’e Su’e, who severly injured her knee in a match this past week and is out for the season.