Broncos smother South Sevier 56-3 for fifth win in a row and first 2A South Region victory

The San Juan High School football team still hasn’t peaked in 2021 – still hasn’t found a way to put together a complete effort for an entire 48 minutes.

That’s according to Bronco head coach Barkley Christensen, even after his team had just finished shellacking the South Sevier Rams 56-3 in their first 2A South Region game this past Friday, September 17.

They’ve surely had moments of perfect execution throughout the season, but this time they had to overcome a slow first half to finish strong and win their fifth in a row.

Every week, Coach Christensen is sounding more and more like Nick Saban, the head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide: not entirely satisfied with his team’s performance despite a lopsided win.

It’s the mark of a championship team – one that isn’t satisfied unless they get a perfect effort in every game – one that is constantly looking to improve and move forward, not content to stay pat.

This past Friday with San Juan at home in front of their own fans, the game was never really in question. But the defense carried the Broncos for almost the entire first quarter before the offense truly got in gear.

In fact, the opening score came on San Juan’s first defensive touchdown of the season when Bronson Snyder scooped up a South Sevier fumble on the Rams’ 15-yard line and ran it into the end zone.

The Bronco offense didn’t strike paydirt until almost 11 minutes into the game when quarterback Jace Palmer ran the ball in from eight yards out.

From that point, San Juan was off to the races. They scored two touchdowns per quarter, including their second defensive touchdown on a 30-yard Jerzy Nieves interception return, to leave South Sevier in the dust.

As Bear Bryant – another reasonably-known Alabama head coach – once said, “Offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships.” Now, that’s a nostalgic quote to be sure, but times have changed and in 2021 we know that offense wins championships.

That was fully on display this past Friday. The Broncos run an explosive spread offense, while the South Sevier offense relies on the low-key, technical Wing-T, which is more of a running approach.

Jace Palmer ended up throwing for 228 yards on the night with two touchdowns. He completed 12 of 29 pass attempts for 63 percent.

His main target was Ladd Ivins, who caught six passes for 142 yards and both of the touchdowns. Cooper Black had another solid night, with 65 yards on four catches.

Though San Juan got four rushing touchdowns in the game, they only ran for 121 yards on the night. They ran the ball 16 times, so 25 percent of their carries went for scores. And they spread the wealth.

Jensen Grover, Zach Conway, Jace Palmer, and Landon Black all tallied one rushing TD on the night. Grover carried for 59 yards and Palmer got 24. Conway came on late in the game to pick up 29 yards on a couple carries.

It has already been stated that the defense was the main thrust for the Broncos in the win. They held the Rams to just 220 total yards of offense unofficially – 150 through the air and 70 on the ground.

The Bronco “D” forced four turnovers, including two interceptions by Nieves, one pick by Cooper Black, and the fumble recovery by Snyder.

Obviously South Sevier was unable to get into the San Juan end zone. A 34-yard field goal from Trenton Garrett was the Rams’ only tally on the night.

San Juan improves to 5-1 on the year with the win, and they are definitely building momentum and confidence as they head into the last four games of the season.

They remain ranked #3 in the most recent RPI standings behind undefeated South Summit and Beaver. The Wildcats actually leapfrogged the defending state champ Beavers into the top spot this week, but that’s all just a bunch of math.

The Broncos have the blessing of staying at home this week to welcome the Millard Eagles to town. It’ll be Homecoming, so the crowd’s sure to be rockin’ at the San Juan High School football field.

Millard comes into the game 2-4, ranked ninth in the RPI. They had lost three straight before an easy win over Grand County this past Friday.

The game will kick at 7 p.m. this Friday, September 24 and you can hear and see all the action live on Redrock 92.7 FM and pictureitpalmer.com.

San Juan Record

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