The Bronco football juggernaut continued sailing along unblemished with a convincing 26-6 win over the South Summit Wildcats.
In a game of unbeatens, San Juan made the their second long road trip in a row successful when they scored first and last with a particularly strong second half performance.
And it was that defense that set the stage for all the offensive historics, holding the powerful Wildcat offense, which came into the game averaging 30 points per game, to just one touchdown and 146 total yards. And that touchdown came after a Bronco turnover that gave the Wildcats the ball at the San Juan 30 yard line.
The Broncos have only allowed three touchdowns in their 5-0 season thus far. The win over South Summit lifts the Broncos to a 5-0 record against the Wildcats, including two state championships won at the Wildcats expense.
Offensively, Cameron Shumway took advantage of those Wildcat turnovers to throw touchdown passes to Ryan Lyman and Stetler Shumway while returning a Wildcat turnover for 45 yards and a touchdown himself.
Next up for the Broncos, another road trip, this time to Moab to face the Grand County Red Devils.
Bronco coach Monty Lee, for his part says, “Not sure what the secret is with these kids; they just love doing their best and leaving everything on the field. Man, I have the best job in the world!
“South Summit was a test and I think our kids were ready for the challenge. There is still a long season ahead of us and a number of hurdles we have to get over if we expect to be playing at the end of the season. This is just another of those many hurdles.”
After a week where they got their first win of the season, the Buckaroos lost a homecoming game to the powerful Rich Rebels, 34-13. The Rebels jumped on the Bucks right from the start, scoring on their first three possessions to control the clock and leap out to a commanding 19-0 halftime lead.
Devin Wright scored what would have been a spectacular touchdown when he picked up a bad snap on a punt attempt and 80 yards later found himself in the endzone, only to see the play called back on a holding penalty.
After Rich scored on their first possession of the second half to forge a 26-0 lead, the Buckaroo offense woke up a little.
With sophomore QB Brian Robinson taking the snaps and Kendall Maughan and Devin Wright taking turns carrying the ball, the Bucks finally got on the board in the second half with an impressive 68 yard drive, culminating in a two yard touchdown run by Wright.
Late in the game, after a nifty 30 yard punt return by Wright, Wright returned to the QB position just enough to toss three nice passes, a 29 yard pass to freshman Austin Maloy, a 14 yard screen play to sophomore Jake Duncan and a four yard TD pass to junior Jonah Cafferty.
Speaking of the season, Buckaroo Lee Chadwick, said, “It was great to get a win [against Layton Christian]. Other than the San Juan game, which we really felt was an anomaly, we feel we have played well this year so far. The first two games, we felt we outplayed the other teams, or at least stood toe to toe, and somewhat beat ourselves with turnovers and such.
“We have always been focusing on the weeks in November, with all the contests in between becoming measuring sticks of our progress. It is important to remember that it isn’t all about winning and losing, as much of that can be done through different scheduling. It is about competing at our highest ability, and we feel the best is yet to come.
“Rich was a great measure of our progress this year. They have a great program, and will always be very competitive.
“We intend to go and do what we do best, without really changing much for them this week. We expect to see them down the road again, and recognize this is not an end-all game. On the other hand, we intend to show that Monticello football is serious in our intentions at a state title this year.
“I’m not certain there was a key moment in the game against Layton Christian. We certainly had some mistakes we want to clean up. I think maybe a telling point of that game was our first couple of drives, when our offensive line seemed to dominate their defense.
“I can’t say enough about how hard Tim Ryan, Austin Wilcox, John Mayne, Josh Giles, Adam Black, and Jonah Cafferty and a number of others have worked this year to make our offensive line solid. They are often unheralded, but are a major key to our success, and our getting better every week.”
The Bucks continue region play against Monument Valley on the road Friday night.
Kimberly Hiatt, Bronco girls cross country coach, reports on Bronco cross country:
“It's been over 15 years since a San Juan High School XC team brought home a team trophy from the Shiprock Chieftan XC Invitational. Kids in that neck of the woods know how to run - it's been their tradition for decades.
“However, last Saturday, competing against eleven other schools from around the Four Corner's region, San Juan earned podium finishes in both the Varsity and Junior Varsity races. Girls' Varsity won the second place team trophy, Boys' Varsity won the third place team trophy, Girls' JV won the first place trophy while the Boys' JV team won second place overall.”
According to Steve Hiatt, San Juan boys' XC coach, “Two factors play an important role in the success of our teams.
“First, Steve Francom's efforts at ARL Middle School the past six years have sent a steady stream of kids who know how to run and enjoy it.
“Second, and most importantly, it is the kids themselves - many with a strong genetic loading and an attitude to strive for excellence that makes our job as coaches easy.”
At Shiprock, seniors Taylor Francom (17:36) and Katie Hiatt (21:47) led the Broncos by both placing seventh individually in their respective races.
Francom was followed by teammates Jade Grover (18:25), Wheeler Heck (18:59), Brandon Deschene (19:18), Dallin Jacobsen (19:33), Chase Chamberlain (20:21) and Christian Sherrow (20:22).
Hiatt's teammates Brielle Francom (22:22), Kendra Parker (23:04), Makenzie Ward (23:20), Abby Hatcher (24:14), Katrisa Ward (25:08)and Trienna Arthur (26:04) ran well collectively to bring home the second place Girls Varsity team trophy. The top five positions on the girls' team have stayed relatively steady, but the last two positions continue to change from week to week.
“We literally have six girls vying for those last two varsity positions," says San Juan girls XC coach, Kimberly Hiatt. "It will be interesting to see which of these athletes peak for the Region Championships in four weeks.”
As for the Buckaroos, “We didn’t have the best day,” said coach Jeff Hunt. “Macee Nielson finished third, but she was sick and I am sure having a big week didn’t help. We didn’t have full teams in varsity because of illness and injury.
“The JV girls finish 4th behind Shelby Lewis who was also fourth and Kaitlin Clark who was 12th. Bailey Goodwin was 7th for the Jr. High and the girls finished fourth. Jens Brewer was edged out at the end to finish second and the Jr. High boys finished 6th. Collin Hatch was the top Varsity and he finished 38th.”
Take A Bow
Mike Bowring, former San Juan star and Monticello head coach, racked up his 100th head coaching victory in his 150th game this week after his Juab Wasps beat ALA, 42-21. Bowring won 46 games as the Buckaroo head coach, including a state championship in 2001.