Monticello’s football playoff run ends with a tough loss to top-ranked Milford

Hopes were high for the Monticello Buckaroo football team (5-5) headed into their Nov. 3 semifinal matchup with the top-ranked Milford Tigers (10-0) in the Utah State 1A Football Championships in Payson.
In the three weeks leading up to the semifinals the Buckaroos had played their best football of the season that culminated with a 41-0 dismantling of Rich Oct. 26 in the opening round of the playoffs.
Monticello scared the Tigers in October when they traveled to Milford and took them to the wire, finally succumbing late in the contest 32-26.
Coming close to beating Milford on Oct. 12 gave the Buckaroos hope. But they knew there would be no element of surprise this time and they’d have to play even better than they did last month to get the upset.
It was a warm, bright, sunny day at Payson High School. Milford opened the scoring with a short five-yard pass and a successful PAT with 5:44 to go in the first quarter.
Monticello responded a mere minute and a half later when Weston Nebeker plowed into the end-zone from two yards out. The score remained 7-6 when MHS failed to convert the PAT.
Things appeared to be on track for another closely game, but late in the first quarter the Tigers scored two more touchdowns to take a commanding 21-6 lead into the second frame.
The Tiger onslaught continued in the second quarter when Milford scored three more times to go up 42-6.
Monticello got a late touchdown with 1:32 to go in the half. Mark Beh hit brother Matt for a five-yard touchdown toss. A successful Nebeker two-point try made it 42-14.
Not content to go into halftime up four scores, Milford put it in the end-zone again to obtain a 49-14 halftime lead.
The third quarter saw Milford score two more times, and on defense they shut the Bucks out to lead 63-14 going into the final period.
Early in the fourth quarter, Monticello scored on Mark Beh’s second TD toss of the afternoon when he found Steven Robinson on a five-yard route. The two-point conversion pass was completed by Beh to make the game 63-22.
Milford scored again with 4:57 to go in the game and the 70-22 score would prove to be the final.
Monticello ends the season with a 5-6 record in coach Reed Anderson’s first year as head coach.
It’s the Bucks’ most wins in three seasons and their first appearance in the state semifinals in four years. The coaches and players are excited to continue improving next year.
However, this year’s Bucks squad was senior-heavy and will have to rely upon a lot of young talent going forward.
Coming next week: girls and boys basketball previews.

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