by Tad Barton
Two teams at San Juan High can call themselves Region Champions after this past week of competition.
The Bronco football team finished their 2A South Region schedule with a 4-1 record, good for a share of the region crown. San Juan will share that honor with Grand, who also finished their region schedule with a 4-1 record after defeating San Juan 23-8 last Friday in Moab.
Because of the loss in head-to-head competition, the Broncos will enter the 2A State Playoffs as the number two seed from the South Region while Grand will get the number one seed.
The Bronco volleyball team also secured a Region 15 title with wins this past week over Emery, South Sevier, and Richfield.
San Juan enters the final game of their Region 15 schedule with a 10-1 record. That match will be against the Grand County Red Devils on October 16.
The Broncos have been perfect in region play over the last ten games with their one region loss coming in their region opener to North Sanpete back on September 7.
San Juan and Grand faced off on Friday, October 12, for the 72nd time in the two schools’ history. The Broncos lead the series 40-32, but it was Grand who came out on the winning side of a hard fought defensive battle, as they beat San Juan 23-8.
After a scoreless first quarter, Grand got on the scoreboard first with a field goal after the Broncos made a nice defensive stop inside the ten-yard line.
San Juan answered with a scoring drive when Corbin Palmer got behind his offensive line and scored from one yard out.
The Broncos went for two after a roughing-the-kicker penalty on the PAT against the Red Devils moved the ball to the one-yard line. Carlos Redd punched the ball across the goal line, making the score 8-3. Neither team scored the remainder of the first half.
The Broncos defense forced the Red Devils to a three and out on their opening drive of the second half. San Juan’s offense then started moving the ball down field with two big runs on their first couple of plays of the third quarter.
The Broncos looked to have picked up another good chunk of yardage on their third play, but a block in the back penalty nullified the play and put San Juan in a hole they never got out of the rest of the quarter, but Grand found the end zone to retake the lead, 10-8.
The Red Devils would add one more offensive score in the fourth as well as a pick six to go up 23-8.
The Broncos kept fighting and moved the ball deep into Grand territory on two different occasions. But both drives sputtered, leaving San Juan with a 15-point deficit and ultimately ending in a 23-8 loss for the Broncos.
San Juan will be off this weekend, as they will have a first round bye for the playoffs. The Broncos will then host a Quarter Final match-up with the winner of Millard and North Sevier, who play this Friday in Fillmore.
With three wins last week, the San Juan volleyball team improved to 10-1 in Region 15 and 24-5 overall.
The Lady Broncos started the week off with a home match against the Emery Spartans on Tuesday, October 9, winning that match in three sets, 25-16, 25-22, 25-18.
San Juan then hit the road for a pair of matches, first against South Sevier on October 12 then against Richfield on October 13. The Broncos beat South Sevier in three sets, 25-9, 25-13, 25-15, and Richfield in four sets, 25-22, 21-25, 25-22, and 25.18.
Against Emery, Ta’ssi Su’esu’e led the San Juan attack, finishing with 21 kills. Delaney Palmer also finished with double digit kills, hammering home eleven.
Hope Holliday was a perfect 12/12 from the service line and had a pair of aces, while Whitnie Ivins was 17/18 and had one ace.
Bodell Nielson led the way with assists, finishing with 30.
Defensively, San Juan was led in blocks by Su’esu’e (three), Palmer (one), and Jerika Torgerson (one).
The Broncos were pretty balanced when it came to digs with Su’esu’e and Holliday each recording eight and Palmer, Nielson and Ivins each had six.
Stats from San Juan’s wins over South Sevier and Richfield were not available.
San Juan will finish their Region 15 schedule on Tuesday, October 16 against Grand before heading to the 3A State Championships at Utah Valley University in Orem on Wednesday, October 24 on Court 2 at 4 p.m.
The Broncos will play the sixth place team from Region 14, the American Leadership Academy Eagles.
The Region 15 Cross-Country Championships were held last week in Moab on October 9. The San Juan girls finished in third place and the boys came in sixth.
The girls team was led by Rachel Barton (19:58), who placed second overall. Ella Lyman (20:00) and Madison Palmer (20:45) were the next two Broncos to cross the finish line, finishing in third and eighth place respectively.
They were followed by Lydia Pugh (22:24) and Celeste Hillhouse (22:43). Joy Parker (23:59) and Jalynn Swenson (24:22) rounded out San Juan’s top seven runners.
In the boys race, the Broncos were led by Lymir Benn (17:51), Cameron Jensen (19:20) and Alexander Lott (19:29). Brandon Walker (19:30), Spencer Jensen (19:55), Bryant Francom (20:15), and Conner Black (20:19) rounded out the top seven runners for the boys team.