Buckaroos win at Rich, will host home playoff game
It’s a long bus ride to Rich High School in Randolph, UT – ten hours from Monticello to be exact. And the shortest route takes you into Wyoming before returning to Utah.
For that reason, the Monticello Buckaroo football team loaded multiple buses at noon on Wednesday for their 4 p.m. game at Rich on Thursday, October 17. A good playoff seeding and third place in the 2A North region was on the line.
Coming in, Monticello was the superior team on paper. But as good coaches know, these types of games can be very dangerous for teams that may look past or down on their opponent.
We’re not saying the Bucks did that in this game, but as the game unfurled there was a sense that Rich came out determined to get its first win of the season at home and at the expense of Monticello.
The game started with neither team really asserting themselves as they traded possessions. However, 3:30 into the opening quarter, Monticello running back Brevin Olson took a handoff from four yards out and dove into the end zone for the Bucks’ first touchdown.
Cedar English added the point after, and the Bucks were up 7-0. But the Rebels responded quickly with a TD of their own on a 22-yard run. The Rebels apparently struggle in the kicking department, so they attempted a two-point conversion. The try failed and the Bucks held a 7-6 lead after one period of play.
The second quarter was a flurry of action for both teams. The Bucks scored less than two minutes into the period on a Devin Hatch to Carson King TD pass from 17 yards out.
Rich drove the ball to the Monticello four-yard line on their next possession before a Carson King interception in the end zone ended the Rebel drive.
On the next play, Hatch hit Dylan Bird on a hitch-and-go route that Bird took eighty-yards to the house to put the Bucks up 21-6.
Undeterred, Rich put together a drive that hit pay dirt with 3:23 remaining in the first half. Again the Rebels failed on a two-point try and when the horn sounded, Monticello found themselves up 21-12 and in a real dogfight.
For the second week in a row, MHS allowed the first touchdown of the second half when Rich scored midway through the third quarter, cutting the Bucks’ lead to 21-18.
It looked like Monticello would be shut out in the frame and forced to battle for the win in the fourth quarter. But with 1:38 to play in the third, after a Dylan Bird interception, Hatch hit King once again for a 38-yard touchdown pass. It gave Monticello some breathing room as the English PAT put them up 28-18 going into the final period.
2:33 into the fourth quarter, Monticello put the game away when Hatch connected with King for a 12-yard TD pass to complete the hat trick.
Rich was able to tack on a late score to make the score 35-24, but that’s as close as they would get as Monticello closed out the regular season with their second straight 2A North victory.
Offensively the Bucks had a great game, racking up 445 yards of total offense. Quarterback Devin Hatch completed 20 of 34 passes for 362 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception.
Carson King caught 12 of Hatch’s passes for 176 yards and three TDs on the day. Cedar English caught four for 82 yards. Dylan Bird caught three passes for 104 yards, including the 80-yard TD grab.
In the running game, Zach Cecil carried the ball eight times for 51 yards with Brevin Olsen adding 23 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown.
On defense, the Bucks caused five Rebel turnovers with Carson King picking off two Rich passes. Bird and English also each had an interception and Grant Nebeker added a fumble recovery.
Zach Cecil had a terrific defensive game, recording 19 tackles and three sacks. Brevin Olson collected 11 tackles, Robert Musselman was in on five, and King, Bird, and English got four apiece. English, Tuff Adair, and Dillon Slack each recorded a sack in the game.
On Saturday, October 19 when the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) released the final RPI standings, Monticello had to have been pleased to see themselves ranked eighth out of thirteen 2A football schools.
The Bucks will stay home to host the Kanab Cowboys in round one of the state tournament this Friday, October 25. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. and if you can’t make it out to the MHS football field, you can hear the game live on 103.9 KAAJ-LP.
It’s October, and in the Utah cross country world that means the end of the season with region and state meets. Region 16 teams met at their region championships on Wednesday, October 16 in Redmond, UT to decide which teams and individuals would qualify for state.
In 2A, half of the teams with five to seven runners competing in the region meet qualify for the state meet along with the top three individuals not affiliated with a qualifying team.
So, for the first time all year, teams were running in a truly meaningful race with a place at the state meet on the line. The Redmond course was nice but extremely hilly with a severe downhill finishing stretch.
The Monticello girls ran extremely well, claiming four out of the top ten individual spots. Freshman Adri Bird pressured a junior from North Summit for the overall region title, losing to the Lady Brave by four seconds with a time of 19:26.
Sophomore Lily Long claimed third overall with her 20:22 and Junior Kennedy Brewer’s 22:59 was good enough for seventh place.
Not far behind was junior Serra St. Clair, coming home eighth overall with a time of 23:20. Sophomore Halle Morrison completed Monticello’s scoring with a 24th place finish in 28:29.
Senior Macy Badger finished 26th with a time of 28:57 and Senior Kaitlyn Morrison got 29th with a 30:32. The Lady Buckaroos finished one point short of North Summit 43-42 for a second-place region finish, but the team easily qualified for the state meet.
The boys team also experienced narrow defeat, falling 51-50 to Duchesne in their Region 16 team scoring. Junior Cory Bunker claimed a region title with a time of 16:52. He edged out junior teammate Alan Pettit, who claimed second with his time of 17:15.
Junior Eric Montague claimed the final podium spot for Monticello when he finished ninth with a time of 18:41. The final two scoring finishes for Monticello came from sophomore Bailey Walker who finished 17th in 20:13 and freshman Josh Wheeler who placed 22nd in 20:47.
Other Bucks running were junior Taw Robinson (29th – 21:28), freshman Jacob Johnson (32nd – 22:16), and freshman Jalen Bradford (44th – 25:19).
Understandably, the teams are disappointed with their second-place region finishes. But both squads are very much in the state championship mix as they travel to Salt Lake City for the 2A Cross Country State Championships at Sugarhouse Park this Wednesday, October 23.
The state meet is arguably one of the best Utah high school state championship events with all six classes running on the same day on the same course. The finish on the Highland High School track decides who will claim one of twelve team and individual state championships.
If you’ve never been, we strongly encourage you to go. You won’t be disappointed as the day is guaranteed to provide countless exciting finishes, stories of triumph, and, in some cases, heartbreak and sorrow.
The MHS girls begin at 10:30 a.m. with the boys toeing the line at noon for a shot at the 2A title.
After playing a virtual volleyball marathon last week of ten matches, the Lady Bucks had a more normal schedule this week.
The girls hosted Region 16-leading North Summit on Wednesday, October 16 in their last home game of the season, then traveled to Gunnison the following night for their final Region 16 match of the season.
Before the North Summit match, the team honored seniors Megan Black, Presley Lewis, Morgan Maloy, and Rianna Shumway to thank them for their contribution to Monticello volleyball over the years.
Monticello came out shaky against the Lady Braves, dropping the first two sets 25-14 and 25-19. They turned the tide to win sets three and four 25-20 and 30-28 before dropping the final set 15-9 and the match 3-2.
Megan Black was the top server, connecting on 100 percent for a 2.25 service rating. Black and Saydee Adams each had two aces apiece with Morgan Maloy recording one.
Black was also the top Lady Buck hitter with 10 kills on 41 attempts. Saydi Young and Presley Lewis also had nice games with eight and seven kills respectively.
On defense, Black and Whitney Knudsen each had two blocks and Maloy came through with 21 assists. Black also collected 21 digs in the match with Maloy and Presley Lewis adding 16 apiece.
The next night treated MHS much better as they battled with the Gunnison Lady Bulldogs with a share of Region 16 second place on the line. The Lady Bucks started strong and took the first set 25-17.
Gunnison won the next two sets 25-11 and 25-21 but Monticello rallied to take the last two sets 25-19 and 15-12 for a nice road win. The MHS win left both teams tied in second place with 7-3 records in region play.
Rianna Shumway was the top server versus Gunnison, hitting 100 percent for a 2.57 service rating. Megan Black had two aces with Morgan Maloy, Shumway and Elli Nielson recording an ace.
Black again was the top MHS hitter, recording 24 kills on 55 attempts. Whitney Knudson racked up 11 kills in the match.
On defense, Black blocked one Lady Bulldog hit and Morgan Maloy had 39 assists. Presley Lewis led the team with 18 digs.
The girls now await the release of the final UHSAA volleyball RPI standings on Friday, October 25 to find out who they play in the first round of the state tournament.
They’ll begin this Saturday, October 26 and state is scheduled for next Friday and Saturday, November 1-2 at Utah Valley University in Orem, UT