Locals participate in All-Star Volleyball game
The Eagles have landed, right on top of their opponents and just like that, the stellar football seasons of both the San Juan Broncos and the Monticello Buckaroos concluded.
Both teams fell in semifinal action Saturday at the same time in eerily similar fashion, 2A San Juan to the Millard Eagles 35-20 at Pleasant Grove High School and 1A Monticello to the Layton Christian Eagles, 35-6 at Wasatch High School.
The Eagles from Fillmore pounced on the Broncos with their first possession, scoring only minutes into the game to go up 7-0.
After the Broncos couldn’t do anything offensively, the Eagles returned the ensuing punt to the Bronco 14 yard line, and scored in two plays. 14-0 and the game was still new.
A short punt after another three and out by the Broncos gave the Eagles good field position and they capitalized with a field goal. 17-0, still in the first quarter.
And after an interception of a Barkley Christensen pass, the Eagles looked to put this one out of reach early.
But the Bronco defense finally rose up, stopping the Eagles and forcing another field goal try, which they missed, breathing a little life into the Broncos.
Junior Bobby Bowring shook the whole Bronco Nation awake minutes later when he intercepted a Millard pass and returned it to the Eagle six yard line.
Cole Einerson scored two plays later on a six yard run and the momentum shifted slightly.
When Einerson scored again on a six-yard pass from Christensen in the second quarter, the Broncos were back in it, trailing only 17-13 at halftime.
The Eagles started the second half with another long drive, stretching the lead to 23-13. But the Broncos, behind the arm of Christensen came roaring back.
After completing a 50-yard bomb to Ammon Mitchell, Christensen found Bobby Bowring in the corner of the endzone from 16 yards out and the Broncos closed to 23-20.
It looked like the teams would trade touchdowns for the rest of the game when the Eagles scored and the Broncos marched right down the field, but an interception stopped the drive.
The Eagles scored once more, but the Broncos couldn’t get the ball into the endzone again after more turnovers and the season was done, 35-20.
Coach Monty Lee’s Broncos end the year at 10-1 and their winning streak at 30, second longest in state history, and with a little motivation for next year, I think.
Christensen ends the year first in 2A touchdown passes with 20. Bowring ends being tied for first in touchdown passes with eight and the Bronco defense ended the year with the stingiest defense in the state for the second year in a row, allowing only 8.36 points a game.
For the third year in a row, the Bucks fall in the semis of the 1A playoffs. They simply couldn’t overcome the fast Layton Christian start Saturday in Heber.
LC, much like they did in September in Monticello when they scored on the first play of the game on a 96-yard bomb, scored on the first play of this game with a nifty 71 yard reverse, catching the young Bucks completely off guard and 15 seconds into the game LC had scored enough points to win.
Who would’ve thunk it. The Bucks were ineffective on offense, punting the ball away. LC immediately drove down the field, scoring again and less than five minutes into the game, the Bucks found themselves down 14-0.
But the Buckaroo offense finally showed signs of awaking and they began to move the ball down the field. However, in what would be a sign of things to come, the Bucks fumbled away the ball deep in LC territory and the drive ended.
The Buckaroo defense came to life as well, stopping the LC offense time and time again and when Austin Wilcox stopped LC on a fourth down play near midfield with a big loss, it looked like the Bucks were on their way back.
Alas, it was just not to be, as another Buckaroo fumble spoiled that drive and the dye was set. Time and time again, effective Buckaroo drives ended with fumbles or interceptions or untimely penalties. The vaunted Buckaroo offense could never get moving consistently.
Still, with eight minutes remaining, the Bucks defense had kept the offense in the game, still trailing only 14-0. But after losing 15 yards on a fourth and six play at their own 31 yard line, gave the Eagles another short opportunity to score, which they quickly did, opening the flood gates, so to speak.
Four interceptions on the Buck’s last four drives led to two more quick scores and the final score, 35-6, was in the books.
Oh, that last score? The defense blocked a punt which Jonah Cafferty recovered in the endzone for the Bucks.
The Buckaroos of Coach Lee Chadwick completed their first winning season since 2004 with a 9-3 record and too, have much motivation for next year, with a young team that had many juniors, sophomores and freshman contributing.
Sophomore Austin Wilcox ended the season fourth in 1A rushing, averaging 86 yards per game and gaining 1,031 yards rushing.
Brian Robinson was fourth in touchdown passes with 12. Jake Duncan was third in touchdown passes with five. Jonah Cafferty was second in kicking with 17 extra points and one field goal.
PJ Leiatau kicked two drop kick field goals, the first in Utah since 1942. And the Buckaroo offense was second in 1A scoring, averaging 40 points a game.
Four senior members of the 1A state champions Monticello Buckaroo volleyball team played in the 1A vs 2A Volleyball Southern Utah All Star game in Panquitch on November 4. Swayzi Slade, Robin Randall, Jamie Keyes, and Martha Beh helped 1A beat the 2A in three games, 25-8, 25-21, 25-11.
The 1A team was coached by Tony Esplin.