by Tad Barton
Homecoming week at San Juan brought a lot of excitement to the community of Blanding.
The activities at San Juan High kicked off on Monday, September 19 with the annual Mr. San Juan Pageant. After a night full of laughs, junior Connor Christensen was crowned Mr. San Juan.
On Tuesday, the 20th, it was the volleyball team’s turn to shine, and shine they did, defeating the visiting team from Emery in a five set thriller, 25-14, 25-17, 25-27, 21-25 and 15-11.
The annual Powder Puff game was played on Wednesday night, the 21st, with the Juniors defeating the Seniors 12-8.
On Thursday night, Bronco fans and community members gathered for the Football Tailgate.
Although not affiliated with the SJH Homecoming, many people from around the area gathered on the SJH football practice field on Thursday night to celebrate freedom and speak out against the proposed Bears Ears National Monument at the first ever San Juan Freedom Fest benefit concert.
Those who braved the wind and threat of rain were treated to a night of great music from Utah native Charley Jenkins and award winning country music star Darryl Worley.
The concert was started off with a musical number and traditional Native American dances. Master of Ceremonies and comedian Pax Harvey kept the crowd entertained throughout the night with some great standup comedy.
The culmination of the Homecoming activities came on Friday, September 23 with the Homecoming parade and football game which was won by the Broncos 31-13.
The Homecoming game between the visiting Enterprise Wolves and the San Juan Broncos saw San Juan improve to 5-1 on the season and 2-0 in region play.
The game started off slowly with both teams first two offensive possessions resulting in punts. While both the Broncos and the Wolves had some success moving the ball between the 20 yard lines, neither team could find the end zone in the first quarter, resulting in a 0-0 tie after one quarter of play.
Enterprise got on the scoreboard first with 7:54 remaining in the second quarter to take an early 7-0 lead.
It took the Broncos exactly 13 seconds to answer with a touchdown of their own when Jordan Blake returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for San Juan’s first score of the night. Aaron Mitchell added the extra point, tying the game up at 7-7.
The Broncos then held the Wolves to a three and out on their next possession. Then a bad snap by Enterprise on the punt attempt gave the Broncos a first and goal from the eight yard line.
The Wolves managed to hold the Broncos to just six yards on their first three downs of the series, resulting in a fourth and goal from the two for San Juan.
Blake took the snap and rolled right, spotting Kavika Su’eSu’e open in the end zone, but just as the ball left Blake’s hand, Su’eSu’e lost his footing, causing him to fall, and the pass fell incomplete.
Backed up against their own goal line, Enterprise tried to pass the ball on their first play of the series, but were called for a holding penalty in the end zone, resulting in a safety and a two-point lead for the Broncos, 9-7.
San Juan’s final score of the half came two possessions later on a 48 yard, eight play drive that was capped off with a 12 yard touchdown reception from Blake to Jaxon Lee with 1:27 left in the half.
After the score, Su’eSu’e punched the ball across the goal line for the two point conversion, giving the Broncos a 10 point lead, 17-7, where it would remain until after the half.
San Juan would score another touchdown on their opening drive of the second half. Facing a third and 28, it looked like the Broncos would be forced to punt, but Blake dropped back and found Lee deep over the middle for a 44-yard gain down to the Enterprise six yard line.
After a short gain on first down and a false start penalty, San Juan found themselves with a second and goal from the eight.
Blake then took the second down snap and faked a handoff to fullback Dylan Ivins, booted to the right and found Lee in the back of the end zone for the duo’s second touchdown connection of the game. Mitchell’s PAT attempt was good, and San Juan extended their lead to 24-7.
The Bronco defense flexed its muscle on the Wolves next possession, holding them to another three and out. San Juan’s special teams took another turn in the lime light when Walker Black blocked the Enterprise punt attempt, and Connor Palmer, playing with one hand in a cast, scooped up the ball in the end zone for the Broncos final score of the night.
Once more Mitchell added the point after and San Juan took a commanding 24 point lead over Enterprise, 31-7.
In the fourth quarter, long after San Juan had pulled their starters, Enterprise was able to put one more score up. With 1.6 seconds left in the game, the Wolves scored their second touchdown of the night on a one-yard pass play as time expired resulting in a 31-13 final in favor of the Broncos.
San Juan’s girls’ tennis team competed this past week at region. Jade Warren took second place in First Singles, Halli Black took fourth in Second Singles and Sophie Black placed fourth in Third Singles.
All three young ladies will compete at the 2A State Championships this Friday, September 30 at the Liberty Park tennis courts in Salt Lake City, UT.
Congratulations and good luck.