by Scott Boyle
After being shutout two consecutive weeks, the Buckaroos were looking for some improved offensive performance on September 25 in the South Division opener against the Parowan Rams.
Since the Bucks put up the big goose egg against both Rich and Duchesne, offensive coordinator Josh Keyes said before the game Friday night, “We put in a pro set formation with some play action to get our quarterback rolling out with some shorter routes.”
“And,” he added, “we got Thomas Anderson back, which will mean the whole difference in the running game.”
Buckaroo coaches proved prescient on that as the Bucks rolled to a 45-7 win over the Rams with both the passing game and the running game rolling.
Buckaroo quarterback Brayson Wilcox completed five of nine passes for 116 yards in the first half alone, throwing just like Coach Keyes said, “rolling out with some shorter routes.”
And Anderson sparked the Buckaroo rushing attack with 110 yards rushing as the Bucks racked up 277 yards rushing on the night.
Plus, kicker Talon Black also added six extra points on the night with his foot and also a 35-yard field goal right through the middle of the uprights in the second half to give the Bucks the convincing win.
Anderson started the scoring parade on a 24-yard TD scamper up the right side early in the first quarter. The Bucks took the opening kickoff and marched 60 yards in 11 plays, with Anderson picking up 38 of those yards, to go up 7-0, where Talon Black added his first of six extra points on the night at the 7:12 mark in the first quarter.
Then, after the Buck defense stopped the Ram offense and forced a punt, the offense went to work again, this time covering 65 yards in eight plays, with Shandon Bradford scoring the touchdown from seven yards out.
In the series, Bradford also had runs of 15 and 13 yards around the end, after Anderson softened up the middle a bit.
Other key plays in the drive were two pass plays to Andrew Torres, for 11 and five yards. Black again and its 14-0 with 2:20 left in the quarter.
Bradford then recovered a Black squib kick on the kickoff and the Bucks scored again in just three plays, with Bradford getting the TD from eight yards out.
On the first play of that series, Wilcox hit Torres with a 29-yard strike to get Monticello to the Ram nine yard line. Black again on the extra point and its 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The Bucks scored in the second quarter on a 56-yard touchdown pass from Wilcox to Anderson. Wilcox scored again just before the half on an eight-yard dash around the end and at halftime, the Bucks led 35-7.
The scoring in the second half was all Black’s, as he punched his field goal through in the third quarter before adding a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter. With his extra point, his sixth on the night, Black had scored all 10 points in the half.
For the night, Anderson had 110 yards rushing and 57 yards receiving and two TDs.
Torres had 127 all-purpose yards (39 rushing, 45 receiving and 43 returning).
Bradford had 98 all purpose yards and two touchdowns (71 rushing and 27 on returns).
Wilcox had 32 yards rushing and one TD and passed for those 116 yards on a 7-14 night with one TD and one interception.
Black, in addition to nine points with his foot, rushed for 25 yards and one TD, along with a pass reception.
It’s Homecoming for the Bucks this week, with the Altamont Longhorns coming to town. The Bucks and Longhorns have had some wild encounters over the years and this one should prove to be the same.
It was everyone’s worst fears realized as Buckaroo volleyball stalwart, senior Ashley Ewart, got the news that she had torn the ACL in her knee againt San Juan last week, putting her out for the season.
The Buckaroos are working to replace the four year player, according to head coach Tony Esplin. “It is a tough loss for us….”, he maintains, “She has been a four-year starter at the middle blocker position and was really starting to have a great year. We will do the best we can in trying to fill that hole.
“Atlanta Black has been moved from outside hitter to the middle position at this time and she seems to be catching on really quick. She had a pretty good game at Grand last Thursday.
“We have filled in Atlanta’s outside hitting position with Lashay Lewis, who had played that position at the Dixie tournament while Izabell Slade was recovering from a shoulder injury.
“We will fill Lashay Lewis’s position as right side hitter with both Kari Schmidt, and Marci McDougall who both have played that position. They will share the load there and both have different strengths depending on what is needed.”
The Bucks continued their winning ways last week, even without Ewart, with a 3-1 win over Cortez, keeping their number one ranking intact and running their season record to 11-4, winning their fifth match in a row.
After losing the first game in Cortez to the Panthers, 25-21, the Bucks found their rhythm and won the next three games, 25-16, 25-19, and 25-21 to get the win.
Next up for the Lady Buckaroos, two home matches this Homecoming week, against Monument Valley on Tuesday at 6:15 and Thursday at 6:30 against the Grand County Red Devils.
Tyler Bird paced the Buckaroo harriers to a second place finish at the John Thornton Invitational in Blanding on Wednesday afternoon. Bird also finished in second place, 24 seconds behind Mancos’ Ro Paschal, who led Mancos to the boys title.
Also scoring for the Bucks are Eli Johnson, who finished in tenth place, Adam Bunker in 17th, Lucas Hatch 20th, and Ryan Bird 26th.
The girls finished fifth, with Aunika Hunter (16) and Kendall Harris (24) the highest Buckaroo finishers. Nathalie Reay (31) and Phoebe Johnson (32) rounded out the Lady Buckaroo scoring.