by Scott Boyle
The Monticello Bucks season ended at Stewart Stadium at Weber State College Saturday morning after a 39-13 defeat at the hands of the Rich Rebels.
Rich scored early and often as they left no doubt which team was going to be in the 1A finals. Rich took the opening kickoff and moved down the field to paydirt just three minutes into the game.
Field position was the name of the game as Rich kept the Buckaroo offense pinned deep in their own territory most of the day. With the offense struggling on a beautiful Utah Saturday, the Bucks were forced to punt often, giving the Rebels excellent field position, starting drives near midfield most every time. Six minutes into the game and Rich scored again to lead 14-0. Two more scores in the second quarter and the Rebels were up 26-0 at halftime.
In that time, the Bucks only had five plays in the entire half that yielded positive yardage, including two pass plays from senior QB Makade Maloy to junior wide receiver Andrew Torres, one for 20 yards and another for nine.
Just before halftime, the Bucks managed a sustained drive and after Torres hit Maloy with a 38-yard halfback pass, the Bucks had the ball on the Rebel 10 yard line with just four seconds left in the half.
But Maloy was sacked on the last play of the half to end the drive. The Bucks had only three first downs in the first half as Rich totally dominated play.
The Rebels added two more touchdowns in the third quarter to stretch the lead to 39-0 before the Bucks finally mounted a sustained offensive effort.
Finally in the fourth quarter, with the game no longer in doubt the Bucks climbed on the back of Cole Eldredge one last time and he delivered, carrying the ball five straight times to erase the zero on the scoreboard to score the first Buckaroo TD from five yards out.
Just minutes later, Maloy found Torres one last time, too, for a beautiful 43 yard touchdown pass to get the Bucks to 13 points. For the game the Buckaroos gained just 12 yards rushing.
Eldredge gained 35 yards on 13 carries and one touchdown but the other ball carriers were stopped with minus 23 yards rushing.
One bright spot for the Buckaroos was the passing game as they were eight for 20 for 152 yards for the game and one touchdown. QB Maloy finished his last game in Buckaroo orange and black with 117 yards on nine completions on 17 attempts. Torres was 1 for 1 for 38 yards.
Torres lead the receiving effort with three catches for 64 yards and one touchdown, Alma Beh had two catches for 24 yards, and Brian Tanner had one catch for 32 yards. The loss ends the Buckaroo football season at 5-7.
For the year, Eldredge and Maloy, both seniors, were the offensive firepower behind the offensive line for the Bucks. Eldredge gained 872 yards on the season on 183 carries, scoring 12 TDs. Freshman Thomas Anderson gained 345 yards and three TDs on 66 carries and Maloy had 102 yards and two TDs on 81 carries.
In the air, Maloy led all 1A quarterbacks with 13 touchdown passes while completing 59 of 142 passes for 984 yards. Sophomore Talon Black, replacing an injured Maloy for a couple of games, was 28-68 for 450 yards and six touchdown passes.
Andrew Torres caught nine of those 18 touchdown passes to lead 1A in that category. Torres caught 27 passes for 601 yards on the receiving end. Alma Beh had 238 yards and two TDs on 20 catches. Eldredge had 14 catches, 148 yards and three TDs, while Brian Tanner had 11 catches for 182 yards and two TDs.
All but Maloy and Eldredge return next year.