by Scott Boyle
The 60th meeting between the Monticello Buckaroo and San Juan Bronco football teams ended Friday night with the Broncos on the winning side, 29-0. The Broncos ran their season mark to 2-1 with the shutout, but all Monticello seemed to get out of the game was a nicely soggy wet football field and a few “coulda, woulda, shouldas.”
Played on a drenched field that only got drenchier on account of two downpours during the course of the game, the Bucks had a familiar time of not holding on to the ball against the Broncos, turning the ball over six times in the game.
That follows a pattern of the last four years, in which the Bucks have lost all four games by a combined 129-13 score while coughing up the football at least 22 times. Not that they didn’t have their chances in this one though.
The Bucks moved the ball well in the first half, only to turn the ball over three times inside the Bronco 10 yard line, and also a fourth time at the end of the half, running out of clock on the Bronco 12 yard line.
The Bronco defense came up with a big play each time they needed one to keep Monticello off the scoreboard. Though stifled offensively somewhat in the first half, the Bronco offense managed one big play of their own: a bomb from QB Dane Lyman to receiver Terron Jack that covered 78 yards for the only points of the first half.
Things were different in the second half for the Broncos, when they received great field position and motivation from a dazzling kickoff return by sophomore Drew Nielson, who hastened to the Buckaroo 40 yard line before being tackled. Two plays later, Kohler Black scored from 35 yards out.
After the two point conversion, the Broncos suddenly led 14-0 and the momentum had shifted, causing many of the fans to speculate about the gist of Bronco coach Monty Lee’s halftime pep talk.
As the rain began to pummel the field once more, the Bronco’s defense scored on a good ole rugby fumble scrum, in which the ball covered 25 yards while being dribbled, mishandled, and thumped around by a whole host of flailing Buckaroos and Broncos before Colby Monson finally fell on the dang thing for good in the end zone for a touchdown in a play that took about as long as it takes to peruse this sentence.... twice.
Terron Jack added another TD on a 23 yard pass from Lyman, while the defense added a safety on a Buckaroo fumbled punt to end the frustrating night for the Bucks and make the Broncos’ trip home to a dry Blanding a little nicer.
This week finds the Bucks on the road in Mancos, Colorado, and the Broncos on the road in Cedar City. The Bucks are hoping for a return to winning ways against the Blue Jays, whom they haven’t played since 1992, but against whom they have never lost, winning eight times with one 0-0 tie.
The Broncos play the 3A Redmen for the first time since 1960 and only the second time ever. The Broncos won that 1960 game 38-28, but face an uncertain test in the 2-1 Redmen who walloped last year’s 3A champ Bear River 33-8 in their first game, only to be staggered by the same score, 33-8, by 2A’s Millard the very next week. This past week, Cedar recovered to blast ALA 51-0.
Monticello girls placed first out of eight teams at the annual Moab Invitational. San Juan boys captured the boys team crown with the Monticello boys second. Macee Nielson had another strong showing in the girls race, finishing second. Nielson, who led most of the way, experienced some navigation problems, not unheard of in this race, taking two wrong turns, but still finished second, only four seconds behind the winner.
According to Monticello coach Jeff Hunt, “The 95 degree heat got to Shantel Musselman but the girls had strong performances by Heather Holyoak, Mariah Harris, Aleesha Wells and Kayla Holyoak,” giving the girls from Monticello the team title.
San Juan’s Katie Hiatt also got lost, ending up down on Main Street asking for directions back to the high school. My, my. This is not the first time kids have lost their way in Moab. My own daughter did so nearly six years ago on the same course. Hey, how about markin’ the course a little better down there!
On the boys side, Adam Butler completed his 2007 debut race with a resounding victory for the Buckaroos, finishing over two minutes in front of the rest of the pack, of which only a few were lost.
San Juan boys, led by Taylor Francom, finished first in the team competition. Francom, who followed the tire marks of Butler to finish second, was followed by Cody Hatcher in fifth, Parker Palmer in 12th, Michael Flavel in 15th, and Dallas Hall, 22nd.
For the second place Buckaroos, Casey Randall, Trey Esplin, Trent Sonderegger and Cody Randall ran great races.
Monticello 8th grader Shelby Lewis won the junior high girls race with 7th grader Britney Keith finishing second. Justin Wright was 6th for the boys with Kelland Brewer finishing seventh.