by Tad Barton
After a tough loss on the road last week to the defending 2A State Champion South Summit Wildcats, the San Juan Broncos football team picked up their first win of the 2018 season against the Monticello Buckaroos, 47-0.
Junior Shaw Nielson got the Broncos off to a great start when he returned the opening kickoff 60 yards to the Bucks 30-yard line to set San Juan up with great field position.
Three plays later, Nielson was on the receiving end of a 32-yard pass from Corbin Palmer. The PAT by Levi Ward was no good, and the Broncos led 6-0.
San Juan increased their lead to 12-0 on their next possession when Palmer hooked up with Porter Ivins for a 27-yard touchdown strike, and the PAT was once again no good.
San Juan’s final score of the first quarter came on their next possession when Kian Conway carried the ball across the goal line from four yards out. Ward’s PAT was good, and the Broncos led 19-0.
The second quarter started off similarly to the first with Palmer finding Ivins for their second touchdown of the game, this time from 22 yards out. The PAT from Ward was good, and San Juan led 26-0.
Monticello looked to be building some momentum on their first possession of the second quarter after Mark Beh connected with Matt Beh for a first down on a nice slant route.
Two plays later misfortune struck the Bucks when a tipped pass dropped into the hands of Bronco Carlos Redd who returned the interception for another San Juan score. Ward then added the PAT, putting the Broncos up 33-0.
Undeterred, Monticello came firing back on their next possession as Mark Beh again found Matt Beh, this time for a 21-yard pickup. Two plays later, Mark Beh hit sophomore Brevin Olson on a swing pass which Olson turned into a 22-yard gain and another Buckaroo first down.
Inside the Red Zone for the first time of the night, Monticello kept their air attack rolling, getting the ball down to the 13-yard line on a six-yard pass from Mark Beh to Reed Hedgelin.
With their backs up against the wall, San Juan dug deep, forcing two incomplete passes on the Bucks’ next two plays and ultimately ending Monticello’s drive with a turnover on downs.
San Juan’s next drive was short-lived when, on the second play of the drive, Matt Beh made a great read and intercepted Palmer’s pass intended for Ryan Imlay.
Monticello’s ensuing drive got off to a rocky start with a sack, a short run, and an incomplete pass. It looked as if it would be another three and out for the Bucks, but a roughing the passer penalty gave Monticello a new set of downs.
With renewed life, the Bucks went back to work, picking up nine yards on a pass from Mark Beh to Weston Nebeker.
The drive was kept alive on third and short when Gage Wilcox plowed his way up the middle and beyond the sticks. San Juan’s defense once again stiffened, holding Monticello on their next four plays and forcing a turnover on downs.
With just over two minutes left in the half, the Broncos put their two-minute offense into play and hit pay dirt when Palmer found Conway racing down the sideline behind the defense for a 65-yard touchdown. The PAT split the uprights and the Broncos led 40-0.
After a strong return, the Bucks wasted no time testing the Bronco defense. MHS once again went to the air on the first two plays of the drive and picked up a quick 42-yards on receptions by Hedglin and Matt Beh.
A series of incomplete passes followed for the Bucks as time expired in the first half.
The third quarter started with both teams struggling on offense, resulting in punts for both after going three and out to open the half.
The Broncos defense established the second half momentum on the Bucks’ second possession when Isaiah Hannigan stepped in front of a Mark Beh pass and snagged it for an interception.
Two plays later Hannigan crossed the goal line for the final touchdown of the game. Ward added the extra point, giving the Broncos a 47-0 win.
The San Juan Lady Bronco volleyball team was on the road again this past weekend, traveling to St. George, UT to compete in the Dixie Fly High Tournament.
On Friday, August 24, San Juan made it through the day undefeated in the Gold Division. On Saturday, the Broncos picked up where they left off the night before winning every match and advancing to the championship against Corner Canyon.
The San Juan run came to an end in the finals, as they fell to the Chargers, earning the Broncos a second-place finish.
The varsity team wasn’t the only Bronco team in action. The JV team competed in the Silver Division of the tournament, and also finished in second in their respective division.
The San Juan High girls cross country team has been busy as they begin the journey to defend their 2017 3A State Title. The Broncos return a host of talented runners from last year’s team, as they only lost two seniors.
Although San Juan lost only two runners – Jessica Walker and Nizhoni Warren – they led the Broncos for much of the last three or four years and won’t be easy to replace.
Coach: Holly Walker
Top Returning Runners:
Rachel Barton, junior. Top finisher for the Broncos at the state championships a year ago, is co-captain of the team and has an amazing kick at the finish line.
Madi Palmer, junior. A fierce competitor and strong runner, always brings a positive attitude and strong work ethic. Leads by example.
Lydia Pugh, sophomore. An alternate on last year’s championship team and a determined runner who trained hard all summer to achieve her goal of returning to the State Championships.
Newcomers to watch for:
Ella Lyman, freshman. Expected to be the number three runner for the Broncos.
Coach Walker says about Ella, “Watch for her to break barriers and exceed expectations, as she continues to gain confidence in her abilities.”
The Broncos have a very strong supporting cast which should make them a tough team to beat. Senior Celeste Hillhouse, juniors Jalynn Swenson and Riana James, and sophomore Joy Parker are back this year and are running stronger.
When it comes to boys cross country, the Broncos will face one of the toughest Regions in 3A. That said, San Juan is up to the challenge and ready to compete in 2018.
The boys team is comprised of a good mix of upper classmen and talented underclassmen. Coach Walker is excited about the team and has high expectations for them.
“With great attitudes and willingness to give it their all, this team is poised for tremendous growth this year,” she said.
Top Returning Runners:
Lymir Benn, senior. The Captain of the team has trained hard all summer, leading to a new personal best of 17:46. A strong family running legacy helped him become a strong team leader.
Cameron Jensen, sophomore. In addition to team workouts, he also ran in a Ragnar Relay at elevations up to 10,000 feet. Already faster than a season ago, look for him to continue to improve and develop.
Brandon Walker, junior. The Co-Captain is not only a talented runner but takes time to help and mentor younger team members.
Newcomers to watch:
Spencer Jensen, freshman. Like older brother Cameron, Spencer spent his summer training and competing in Ragnar relays. Stronger and faster than most freshman, he will be a nice addition to the varsity at San Juan.
Rounding out the Bronco varsity cross country team this year are Brett James, Alton Pugh, Zander Lott, Bryant Francom and Conner Black. This group may be young, but they are motivated and push one another to give their best every day.