The last leaf fell off the Monticello High School football tree this fall with a 35-6 season-ending quarterfinal loss to the Duchesne Eagles in Duchesne last Friday afternoon.
The young Bucks put up a good fight defensively, holding Duchesne to just one touchdown for most of the first half.
On the Eagles first possession, the Eagles got to the Buckaroo 15 yard line before the Buck defense rose up to stop the Eagles on downs.
But Duchesne scored on their next possession as Steven Skewes scored on a six yard run.
Talon Black intercepted a pass to stop another Duchesne drive in that first half, and with just seconds left in the half, Duchesne led by just six points, 6-0.
But when the Bucks tossed an interception around midfield, Duchesne had one more chance to score in the half with 43 seconds left.
Backup quarterback, Skewes, at the controls after the starter was hurt, turned a broken play into a long run down to the Buckaroo four yard line with just 15 seconds remaining.
After spiking the ball, the Eagles threw a short pass to score a touchdown with 11 seconds left and increased the Eagle lead to 13-0.
Duchesne put the game away when they came out in the third quarter determined and scored three touchdowns to put the Bucks out of reach of a win.
The Bucks struggled on offense, going three and out on their first three possessions while only managing three first downs in the game, and couldn’t find the endzone until the fourth quarter.
They did get to the Duchesne 18 yard line in the first half after Black’s interception but couldn’t push the ball in the endzone.
In addition, the Bucks coughed up five turnovers, three interceptions and two fumbles to add to the offensive woes.
After junior Buckaroo QB Brayson Wilcox went down with an injury in the fourth quarter, freshman backup Spencer Knudsen guided the Bucks to a touchdown by going three for five in the passing department, including the touchdown on a nice 26 yard pass to junior wideout Max Hedglin.
In the first game with Duchesne, the Eagles hurt the Bucks in the air, throwing for over 200 yards, but in this rematch Duchesne dominated on the ground.
The Eagles only threw the ball ten times, completing two for 10 yards, but the rushing attack was relentlessly efficient.
Dominating the line of scrimmage, the Eagles rushed for 396 yards to get the win.
The Eagles move to the semis against upstart Milford who squeaked out a 34-33 win over Layton Christian when LC scored a touchdown with three seconds left in the game, but missed the extra point kick. Kanab will face Rich in the other semi-final.
The Bucks end the season with a 3-7 record, with victories over Wayne, 35-0; Parowan, 30-12; and Altamont, 34-0. They scored 133 points on the year while giving up 233 points on defense.
Coach Adair commented on the game and the season. “We played well the first half but just couldn’t sustain the energy the whole game. That has been our issue all year.
“When we play a team that has size and depth, we struggle in the second half. We were undersized this year and had five new lineman with no varsity experience, and it takes time.
“I feel some of younger guys got better towards the end, and that’s a positive for next season. If we can focus on our offseason work, we could be pretty tough next season. It all depends on how committed we are starting now for next season!
“We will know by June 1 what kind of a season we will have next year! Other teams are working hard in the offseason. If we want to compete we have to have that same mindset!
“It only takes one class to figure that out and the rest will follow! I’m disappointed for our seniors, but excited for next season. Buck Pride!”
See you next year on the Buckaroo sidelines.