Bulldogs pull away from Bucks late to win by 30

The Monticello High School football team renewed a rivalry with Dove Creek for the first time in decades in what was a closely-contested game until it wasn’t.
The Bulldogs remained undefeated by handing the Buckaroos their third loss of the season 52-22. Dove Creek pulled away by scoring 22 points in the last four and a half minutes of the game.
Monticello received the opening kick and after three downs were set to punt away on 4th down from their own end zone. Dove Creek’s Tyson Beanland blocked the punt and Kendall Gardner scooped it up and took it in for the first score of the game. A two-point conversion gave the Bulldogs an 8-0 lead.
On their next offensive possession, the Buckaroos drove 65 yards and culminated their drive with JD McDonald running three yards into the end zone on a quarterback sneak. The Bucks added a two-point conversion of their own to tie the game at 8.
On Dove Creek’s first offensive possession of the game the Bulldogs drove 65 yards with a series of runs culminating in a ten-yard touchdown run by Gage Buffington.
On the following drive, Monticello drove the same distance again and scored on a 25-yard touchdown pass from McDonald to Easton Young, tying the game once again at 16-all.
Through one quarter of play Monticello had 70 yards through the air and 28 on the ground, while Dove Creek had amassed 56 yards rushing.
After a punt by Dove Creek and a turnover on downs by Monticello, the Bulldogs took over at the 35-yard line driving the length of the field to score again. With Taber Dejane running untouched 41 yards on a counter to give Dove Creek the lead 24-16.
Following an MHS three-and-out, the Bulldogs went on a sustained drive late in the second quarter, but the Monticello defense held strong to force a turnover on downs. Then the Bucks were forced to punt again with 1:40 remaining in the half. 
The Bulldogs once again drove down to the four yard line but Monticello was able to prevent Dove Creek from scoring as the half ended.
At halftime Dove Creek held a 24-16 lead with 231 yards rushing on 25 carries and two touchdowns. The Bulldogs’ passing game had two completions for 16 yards at the half.
Monticello had 88 yards passing on six completions in the first half and one TD. The Bucks also had 38 yards rushing and one touchdown on the ground.
Dove Creek drove to the MHS 17 yard line to begin the second half before the Bucks forced a turnover on downs.
After a quick three-and-out for the Monticello offense, the Bulldogs once again drove down into Buckaroo territory.
But the Monticello defense forced a fumble with Javlin Robison and Donovan Atwood both poking the ball loose and Young recovering at the 15.
Again the Buckaroo offense was forced to punt to Dove Creek and the Bulldogs ended the quarter with possession of the ball and the lead with the score remaining 24-16.
Monticello prevented the Bulldogs from scoring on four straight possessions but Dove Creek finally broke through on their first possession of the fourth quarter when quarterback Kade Hankins ran one yard into the endzone to extend their lead to 30-16.
Monticello responded with another 65-yard drive culminating in an 8-yard touchdown pass from McDonald to Young, making the score 30-22.
On the following possession, Dove Creek’s drive stalled at their own 40-yard line. On fourth and three they were set to punt to Monticello. On the play a low snap was eventually gathered by the punter, Buffington, who scrambled ahead to pick up a first down and keep the Bulldog drive alive.
Dove Creek then drove down to the MHS three where another fourth down attempt was successful as Hankins scrambled around in the backfield, leaping to pass the ball to Gardner in the endzone with 4:20 to go in the game.
With Monticello’s window to tie the game fading on their following possession, Hankins lept in front of a McDonald pass to force an interception and give the Bulldogs the ball near midfield.
The Bulldogs slammed the door on a slight chance of a comeback when Gardner rushed ten yards for a touchdown to extend the lead to 46-22.
After a turnover on downs by the Buckaroos the Bulldogs again took over near midfield. Gardner promptly ran up the middle 43 yards into the endzone to make the score 52-22, which was the final.
The Monticello offense ended the game with 121 yards passing on ten completions including two touchdown grabs by Easton Young. The Buckaroos had 72 yards rushing including a rushing touchdown by quarterback JD McDonald.
The Dove Creek offense totaled 475 yards rushing with five rushing touchdowns including one for Gage Buffington, Taber Dejane, and Kade Hankins with Kendall Gardner recording two rushing touchdowns.
The Bulldogs collected 58 yards passing on five completions including one from Hankins to Gardner. They also had a blocked punt recovered for a touchdown by Gardner.
The Bulldogs play on Friday, September 30 at home against 4-1 Sanford with the kickoff set for 6 p.m.
Monticello also plays this Friday, in Monument Valley against the 1-4 Cougars. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. and the game will be streamed live on PictureItPalmer.com.

San Juan Record

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