Monticello High 2020 football wrap-up
With the Monticello High School football team’s loss to Milford three weeks ago in the first round of the Utah 2A football playoffs, another season of Buckaroo football came to an end. After winning two of their last three games of the season, Monticello ended the year with a 2-8 record.
Coming off a 6-4 record last season, many likely consider this season a step back for the program. However, as stated two weeks ago in this column, the complexion of the 2020 season was shaped early and dramatically by COVID-19, which affected everything from scheduling to practices to in-game rules.
Due to the virus and forced game cancellations, Monticello had to reconfigure their early season schedule just to get some experience playing games.
Instead of facing Monument Valley, Whitehorse, and Dolores, CO to commence the season as initially scheduled, the Bucks were forced to add games with Kanab and San Juan to get some field time. They were very stiff tests for such a young Monticello team.
Arguably, if Monticello wins those early games and the rest of the season plays out the same, the season looks markedly different with a 5-5 record – much better than a lopsided 2-8 record.
The 2020 Monticello football season was one of streaks. The Buckaroos dropped seven straight games to Kanab, San Juan, Gunnison Valley, Millard, Duchesne, Judge, and North Summit to start the season.
They rebounded for two straight wins over Layton Christian and Rich in convincing fashion to close the regular season.
Monticello’s playoff loss to Milford was a tough way to end the year, but there is hope the Bucks can bounce back with a winning season next year.
In this week’s column, we’d like to list Monticello’s year-end statistics and highlight the Buck’s top performers for the season.
Offensively, MHS averaged 136.3 yards per game through the air and 64.6 yards on the ground, scoring 9.6 points per game.
Junior quarterback Devin Hatch missed the first few games of the season but ended the year with 88 completed passes on 202 attempts for 1,219 yards, seven touchdowns, and 17 interceptions.
Hatch’s longest completion went for 78 yards and a touchdown. Hatch’s backup, sophomore Javelin Robison completed 17 of 44 passes for 130 yards, no touchdowns, and four interceptions.
Monticello’s top yardage receiver was senior Cedar English who caught 21 passes for 536 yards and three touchdowns.
Junior Logan Draper’s 33 catches led the Buckaroos in 2020. He ended the season with 263 reception yards and two touchdowns.
Other top receivers were senior Brevin Olson with 16 catches for 110 yards and sophomore Easton Young with 15 catches for 208 yards and a TD.
On the ground, Monticello rushed for 646 yards as a team. Brevin Olson was the Bucks’ top runner, pounding out 635 yards on 165 carries. That’s 3.8 yards per carry with his longest run going for 43 yards.
Olson also scored two touchdowns this season. Other top Buckaroo ball carriers were Devin Hatch who collected 83 yards on 70 carries with 6 touchdowns and Kaden Honecker with 43 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown.
Defensively the Bucks were led in tackles by Brevin Olson’s 6.1 per game, Logan Draper’s 5.5, and senior Robert Musselman’s 5.1.
Javelin Robison led the team with seven tackles for loss followed closely by Musselman, senior Joe Boyle, and senior Tuff Adair with six apiece.
Musselman led Monticello with six sacks on the season and Adair, Boyle, and Robison ended the year with three each.
The Buckaroo interception leader in 2020 was Easton Young who snagged three errant opponent passes. Logan Draper, junior Tate Ramsey, and Javelin Robison had one pick each.
Robison scooped up two opponent fumbles with Joe Boyle, Brevin Olson, Robert Musselman, and Cedar English each recovering one on the season.
On special teams, senior Grant Nebeker led the team in kickoff average with 52 yards per kick. In the punting game, Devin Hatch had a team-high 36-yard average on 16 punts with a long of 63 yards.
The top Buckaroo kick returners were Easton Young and Logan Draper with 26 returns each for 367 and 482 yards respectively. Draper was the top punt returner with eight returns for 29 yards.
Devin Hatch was the top point scorer on the team in 2020 with 36. He was followed by Cedar English with 18. Brevin Olson and Logan Draper both scored 12 points for MHS on the 2020 campaign.
Easton Young, sophomore KC Benge, and Kaden Honecker ended the season with six points apiece. Benge led the team with five made PATs on seven attempts, a 70 percent average.
With the Milford loss, the Bucks had to say goodbye to seniors Darrin Westcott, Brevin Olson, Robert Musselman, Tuff Adair, Cedar English, Josh Dilts, Joe Boyle, and Grant Nebeker. These players have put a lot of time and effort into the program and they will be missed.
The players and parents owe a big thank you for the hard work and time away from families put in by head coach Reed Anderson and his assistants Josh Keyes, Art Adair, Nate Freestone, and Tyrel Snyder on behalf of the program.
Hopefully, 2021 will be COVID-free and allow the team to play a more manageable schedule and get back to their winning ways they enjoyed in the early 2000s when they were contending for and winning state titles.