by Scott Boyle
Congratulations to the Lady Buckaroos for their second straight 1A State Volleyball title! Coupled with the boys XC repeat state title from 2011, the Bucks completed a rare double double, back to back, two-fer, two-fer state championship run.
It is Monticello’s 24th state title in XC and the third volleyball title. Compliments also go to the Lady Broncos, who finished fifth in the 2A tournament after an early loss to North Summit.
So, here’s hopin’ the football teams can do the two-fer thing.
Both the Broncos and Buckaroos spoke loud and clear Friday afternoon in their home quarterfinal games to the rest of 2A and 1A with a complete dismantling of two good opponents.
The Broncos, led by the incomparable but now routine running and passing of Barkley Christensen, a “Tenacious D”, and the all-around exceptional play of everyone else, totally dominated a good Emery Spartan team, 56-13.
Coach Monty Lee’s boys were dominant in every segment of the game. Christensen opened the scoring with a five-yard run for TD early in the first quarter, which Logan Meyer quickly added to with a field to put the Broncos up 10-0 after one quarter.
But the flood gates opened in the second quarter and by the time Bobby Bowring scored on a 10-yard pass from Christensen with just two minutes left in the half, it was 42-0.
Emery, aided by a tipped pass, finally got on the board just before halftime to end the shutout bid of the Broncos. During that rush to the end zone over and over, Justin Nielson also scored on a four yard run, Christensen added two TD runs of 43 and 42 yards, and Ammon Mitchell scored on a 25-yard run.
In the second half, Bowring added a score in the third quarter on another Christensen TD pass of 14 yards and Meyer hauled the pigskin to paydirt from 26 yards.
Monticello did the same to an up and coming Summit Academy team that gave the Bucks fits four weeks ago. The Bucks – finally playing with a full contingent and with the players playing the position they were envisioned for at the first of the year – ran circles around a Summit Academy team that was playing in their first playoff game ever.
And it showed as the experienced Bucks took it to SA right from the opening kickoff and by halftime was up 41-6, which just happened to be the final score, too.
San Juan matches up in a semifinal contest against an old foe, South Summit. The history with SS and SJ is short, but passionate. They have met six times, if my research is correct, with San Juan winning every game.
Four of those games have been in 2A finals, 1998, 2000, 2009 and 2010. In 1998, SS jumped to a 20-0 lead before SJ recovered and won 36-26, the biggest comeback in state championship finals history, partly thanks to a fumble-rooski.
In 2000, the Broncos won 20-14, thanks to a Travis Shumway dash from nowhere to stop a sure SS touchdown late in the game.
Fans surely remember the 2009 title game, played around a halftime blizzard, which the Broncos won 7-0 and then 2010, which the Broncos won 19-6. They’ve met twice in the regular season, in those 2009 and 2010 years with the Broncos winning 26-6 in 2010 and 21-17 in 2009.
The Broncos are in the playoffs for the 26th consecutive year and in the semifinals for the 19th time in those years. They’ve played in 12 state championship games, winning six times.
Coach Lee responded to some Sportshort queries:
Q: A complete dismantling of a very good Emery team. What was the key to the game?
A: The key was stopping their run. They have such a balanced group of runners and are so disciplined in their execution that we knew if we could slow down their running game we could hang with them.
Q: How did you feel about the all around play of your entire team.
A: Very pleased! The score doesn’t really show how good a game it was and how good a team Emery really had. We were able to capitalize on a couple of big plays and muffs (an onside kick, a couple of turnovers, a punt return) that made it look like a blowout, which it wasn’t.
Q: How do you ready for your next opponent, South Summit, an old foe?
A: Same as always just one day at a time and practice as usual. You can’t teach the kids anymore so you try and tweak and refine what you already have. We are excited to be playing South Summit they have always had a great tradition for football and we very much respect them. What a great opportunity for our kids and what a super reward for a long tough season.
Monticello has a rematch against the Duchesne Eagles, who have a 32-game winning streak and who beat the Bucks 21-6 back on October 12.
In that game, the Bucks held the vaunted Duchesne running game in check. In fact, after going for 50 yards on the first run from scrimmage, the Eagles only managed three more yards the rest of the half against an injured Buck defense.
And with tall defensive back, Jake Duncan, out with injuries, the Eagles went over the top on the young and small Buck defensive backs to score on three long TD passes, all in the first half. The Bucks actually won the second half of that game, 6-0.
Anyway, the two teams meet for the 41st time, with Monticello holding a 26-15 lead since they first played in 1973. However, Duchesne has won five in a row against the Bucks and seven of the last eight.
Coach Chadwick commented on the Summit Academy game and the upcoming Duchesne game:
“Due to injuries and inexperience in many positions we have had to shift and adjust continually this year. For the first time this year, however, we were healthy and experienced enough to put kids in the positions that would combine to make our team most successful.
“The players recognize that we are just now peaking and are confident in our capabilities as a team. It makes them very excited to play any opponent.
“We had a number of missed blocking assignments, both the backs and offensive line, which kept us from scoring and made the other teams look good in the past few weeks. We have worked hard to eliminate the confusion there.
“We are a different team than we were in week 6. In week six, we were still looking to get some kids experience at positions we felt they would need later in the season. Now, over a month later, we feel that we have the kids where we want them, but also have developed the depth to shift and adjust if kids get hurt, sick, or otherwise can’t perform.
“As for Duchesne, we feel that we have been preparing for them all year. Although we never look past the current week’s game, we have known all along that we would see them twice this season, and that the second game with them would be the one that really counted.
“Our defense held their run very well last time, but we were missing Jake at DB to cover their tall tight end. We fill our offense is comfortable, and that we have a number of options for them to have to plan and prepare for.
“We are very excited to play them this Saturday.”