Bucks topple Layton Christian for first football win of season, cross country boys take region

After a close loss at Judge Memorial on September 25, the Monticello High School football team knew they had two more good chances to get their first win of the season in their final two games of the regular season.

The first of those chances came on Friday, October 9 when the Buckaroos traveled to Layton to take on the 1-6 Layton Christian Eagles.

The winner of the game would move into sole possession of fifth place in the 2A North Region. The two teams are ranked near the bottom of Utah high school football.

The game started slowly with neither team able to get on the board in the first quarter. Monticello punched in their first touchdown in the second quarter to take a 7-0 lead into halftime.

Layton Christian finally scored a touchdown in the third, but Monticello added one of their own to maintain a 14-7 lead headed into the final period of play.

Layton Christian owned the fourth quarter. The Eagles soared to two touchdowns but a failed two-point conversion sealed their fate when Monticello added another score and held on for a 21-20 win.

With the win, the Bucks improve to 1-7 overall and 1-3 in the 2A North and suddenly have a lot of momentum heading into their final regular season game.

They host the Rich Rebels (1-5 / 1-2) in another 2A North battle this Thursday, October 15. A Monticello win would secure fourth place in the region.

If Gunnison Valley loses to Layton Christian on Friday, Monticello would actually grab third place which seemed extremely remote three weeks ago.

The Monticello vs. Rich tilt is set for an early kickoff at 4 p.m. on Thursday. Come support the boys in what is likely their last home game of the season. You can also hear all the action live on Redrock 92.7 FM starting at 3:30.

Volleyball
The Monticello volleyball team, 3-10 overall and 1-6 in Region 16, finally enjoyed an entire week without a road game this past week. On Tuesday, October 6 the Lady Bucks hosted the #2 team in the region, the Gunnison Valley Lady Bulldogs (12-6 / 6-1).

Monticello got a great start and jumped on the Lady Bulldogs to take a set-one win 25-23. Gunnison dominated the second set 25-15, then closed out the Lady Buckaroos with 26-24 and 25-19 wins in the third and fourth sets.

Statistically, Monticello had a decent match against one of the top teams in the region. The Lady Bucks won the service receive rating battle, tied the Lady Bulldogs in aces, and out-blocked Gunnison Valley 2.5 to 1.0.

But Monticello couldn’t overcome deficits in hitting, service percentage, and errors which cost them the match.

Elli Nielson led the team with a perfect service percentage. Saydi Young served very well also, hitting 94.1 percent of her serves while pounding a team-high four aces.

Saydee Adams added two aces and Athea Ford got one. Ali Barry was the top Lady Buckaroo with a hitting percentage of +.227.

Monticello blocked well in the match with Whitney Knudsen, Adams, Barry, and Young recording 1.5, one, one, and .50 blocks respectively.

Adams also led the team in service return percentage with a 2.67. Ford was the top Monticello digger with 21, just ahead of Nielson (17) and Young (16).

Two nights later on Thursday, October 8 the Lady Bucks welcome the North Sevier Lady Wolves (2-16 / 1-5) to Monticello for a key Region 16 match to decide last place in the region.

Monticello came out a bit flat against the Lady Wolves, dropping set one 25-20, but they turned up the heat to pound North Sevier in straight sets 27-25, 25-22, and 25-19 to take the match 3-1 and improve to 4-11 overall and 2-7 in region play.

Nielson led the team with a perfect serve percentage and three aces. Abbi Christensen had two aces and Adams recorded one. Knudsen and Young led the team with hitting percentages of +.308 and +.243.

On defense, Adams had the best service return rating with a 2.67 followed closely by Ford with a 2.27. Adams and Barry each recorded a block in the match. Nielson was the top Lady Buck with 20 digs in the match.

On Tuesday, October 13 the Lady Buckaroos, now 4-11 overall and 2-7 in the region, hopped a bus to face the top team in 2A volleyball, the North Summit Lady Braves (20-3 / 8-0) in their last Region 16 match of the regular season.

Cross country
The Monticello cross country teams hosted an unofficial tri-meet with San Juan and Grand at the Hideout Golf Course on Wednesday, October 7. The teams wanted to get some time on grass before they all headed off for region meets this week.

Monticello traveled to Roosevelt on Monday, October 12 for the Region 16 Championships hosted by Duchesne at Constitution Park to determine what teams and individuals would qualify for state.

Last season, the Monticello boys were edged out for the region title by Duchesne. Determined to not let that happen again the boys ran hard and it paid off.

This time the Bucks ended up on the right side of a close finish, narrowly edging out North Summit 40-41 to take home the Region 16 title.

Cory Bunker repeated as region champion with a time of 15:31. Alan Pettit also repeated as runner-up when he ran a time of 16:07.

Buckaroo Eric Montague finished in the top ten with a time of 17:31, which gave him a seventh-place finish overall.

Curtis Bunker and Jesse Pettit were the last two scoring runners across the line with their 11th place and 19th place finishes in 17:51 and 18:38.

Others finishing were Josh Wheeler (21st in 18:54), Bailey Walker (25th in 19:22), Jacob Johnson (31st in 19:49), Taw Robinson (36th in 20:21), Mahonri George (44th in 20:50), and Ryan Nielson (48th in 21:18).

The Monticello girls, for the second year in a row, were the region runners-up. They couldn’t keep pace with a deep North Summit team and fell behind the Lady Braves 47-23. The silver lining is that the second-place finish qualified the team to run at state next week.

A gimpy Adri Bird led MHS with a second-place finish behind the reigning 2A state champ from North Summit with a time of 19:35. She was pushed by teammate Lily Long who placed third overall with her run of 19:55.

Serra St. Clair just missed a region top-ten finish when she placed 11th with a time of 22:07. Kennedy Brewer ran hard and claimed 14th place, running a time of 22:53.

Freshman Shannon Morrison claimed the final scoring time for the Lady Bucks, coming home 17th in 23:53. Hailey Gillette also had a nice race, placing 27th in 31:18.

With the region meet in the books, the teams now move their focus to the 2A State Championships to be held at Cedar City High School on October 21. The girls will run at 1 p.m. and the boys begin at 1:30.

Last season at the 2A championships, the Monticello boys placed third overall and the girls got fourth. Cory Bunker placed third and Alan Pettit claimed fifth in the boys race.

Adri Bird was the girls state runner-up last season and Lily Long placed eighth. Both teams and individual runners hope to improve on those finishes.

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