by Scott Boyle
The Monticello Buckaroos made Utah football history Friday night, or were a part of a history-making event: a football game in Wayne County. Wayne County High School hosted its first ever varsity football game on a balmy night in Bicknell against the Buckaroos.
The Buckaroo role in that first ever football and homecoming game in the 100-year history of WCHS was to come out the victor of the momentous moment, which they did, 35-0.
The Bucks rolled to 35-0 with all the scoring coming in the first half. Then they turned things over to the JV and C teams in the second half for some valuable varsity time for the younger guys.
For the night, Coach Art Adair’s boys racked up 279 yards rushing, with 246 in the first half on 22 attempts and 98 yards passing, and 94 in the first half.
Individually, Alma Beh led all rushers with 110 yards rushing and one touchdown on just five carries.
Thomas Anderson bulled his way to 102 yards on 12 carries, while Andrew Torres had 24 yards on two carries and one TD.
Eight other Bucks lugged the pigskin, including Shandon Bradford, who scored another Buck TD, Talon Black, Keeton Young, Weston Nebeker, Spencer Knudsen, Max Hedglin, Brayson Wilcox and Steven Robinson.
QB Brayson Wilcox completed three of four in the passing department for 86 yards and one TD. QB Talon Black completed one of three for eight yards and a touchdown, while freshman Spencer Knudsen was one of seven for seven yards.
Torres was the reception leader with two catches for 66 yards and a TD. Anderson also had a touchdown reception.
After receiving the opening kickoff, the Bucks marched 80 yards in five plays to score just two minutes into the game.
Beh blasted a 47-yard run from scrimmage on the Bucks’ second play to trigger the offense, before Torres scampered into the end zone from 28 yards out to put the Bucks up 7-0.
After an outstanding Wayne punt pinned the Buckaroos back on their own three yard line after the Buck defense forced a three and out, the Bucks went on an 11-play, 97-yard drive to score again on an eight yard dash by Bradford, 13-0.
Wilcox and the defense went to work on the Wayne offense, with three consecutive sacks by Paul DeAnda and big Parker Knudsen before Wilcox dropped the Badger QB in the end zone for a safety, and a 15-0 Buckaroo lead.
The Bucks scored on their next three possessions in the second half to put the game out of reach and turn things over to the JV.
Anderson did most of the work in the first TD, which was a three-play, 44-yard drive. He blasted 29 yards up the middle on the first play, then caught a nice little pass from QB Talon Black for the eight yard TD on the third play. Then it was 22-0.
Four minutes later the Bucks struck again, this time on one play, a 53-yard TD pass from Wilcox to Torres, 28-0.
Finally the Bucks scored again from five yards out, with Beh carrying, after Anderson thundered down the field on a 36-yard scamper to get the Bucks close, 35-0.
Next up for the fifth ranked Buckaroos is a long ride to northern Utah to face the third ranked Rich Rebels.
The defending 1A state champions are 0-2 on the season after losses to 2A Summit Academy, 35-21 and Idaho’s Westside High School, 30-16.
After a rousing tournament in St. George that got them some notice, the Lady Buckaroos traveled to Durango to take on the Demon volleyball team last Wednesday.
The Buckaroos fell to the Demons, a Class 4A team in Colorado, in five sets. It was a wrestling match all evening as the Bucks and Demons battled back and forth.
The Demons were a formidable foe for the Buckaroos. Coach Tony Esplin likes to play these bigger teams for the workout it gives his team.
“This was one of the funnest matches I’ve ever been involved in,” celebrated Esplin, even though his young team fell to the Demons in five games. They pushed the Demons to the limit and the Demons reciprocated for the Bucks.
The Bucks even had a match point in the fifth game at 16-15, but a Demon block stuffed the Bucks attempt to win.
The Buck surprised the Demons in the first set, winning 25-20, before the Demons fought back to win the next two, 25-21 and 25-23. The Buckaroos fought back, winning the fourth game to force a fifth. Monticello forged a two-point lead in the fifth, but the Durango block finally did the Bucks in.
Next up for the 5-4 Buckaroos is Green River and Whitehorse on the road this week before the home opener Friday night against Farmington NM.
The Buckaroos happily galloped in their own backyard last Wednesday, in the annual Loyds Lake Classic. The race was won by Buckaroo Tyler Bird, just before his family headed to Nebraska to numbly watch a chilling BYU Cougar victory.
Head XC coach Jeff Hunt files this report:
“Almost 400 runners and 12 teams descended on Loyds Lake on September 2 for the 21st running of the Loyds Lake Classic Cross Country Invitational.
“Monticello senior Tyler Bird captured the over-all boys title by almost 40 seconds over Ryan Lewis of Grand County.
“Bird’s first place finish, followed by fellow Buckaroo senior Eli Johnson’s third place finish, was not enough to overcome a loaded Mancos, CO team, which many pick to win the 2A title in Colorado.
“The Buckaroos finished second, followed closely be San Juan. The Broncos were led by Derek Francom, who finished ninth.
“Rafael Begay and Joshua Dixon of Whitehorse came in strong with a fourth and tenth place finish, respectively.
“On the girls side, even though Emily Broadbear and Zaharah Rossi of Carbon went first and second, Jessica Walker (third) lead a pack of San Juan Broncos to a convincing team title. Alexsis James (8th) and Laura Burke (10th) helped add to the Bronco victory.
“Kendall Harris and the rest of the Lady Buckaroos finished in 6th.
“Teams from Albert R Lyman Middle School in Blanding swept the Junior High team titles, with Dylan Bird of Monticello finishing second for the boys and Madi Palmer of ARL was second for the girls.
“Even though the move to a Wednesday race this year limited some of the schools, this race is becoming one of the premier cross country races in the area. It might be soon outgrowing the Loyds Lake venue.”