Monticello football team improves to 3-2 with 55-28 road victory over Plateau Valley

by David Boyle
News Director
The Monticello High School football team improved to 3-2 on the year with a win on September 16 in Plateau City, CO. The Buckaroos made the three-hour-plus drive on Saturday for an afternoon game against the Plateau Valley Cowboys and walked away with a convincing 55-28 victory.
The Buckaroos’ afternoon started with a 75-yard scoring drive to open the game. Forty yards of the drive came on a scamper by quarterback JD McDonald and was capped off with a one-yard touchdown run for Tavon Black. McDonald added the extra point to give the Bucks an early 7-0 lead.
The Buckaroos’ first defensive possession saw the Cowboys go backwards with miscues on the snaps on first and fourth down. The fourth-down snap miscue rolled into the endzone and was recovered by Mason Atwood for a Monticello touchdown.
Another kick by McDonald gave the Buckaroos a 14-0 lead early in the first quarter. On the following possession the Cowboys once again went backwards and a mishandled snap on fourth down resulted in a first and goal for Monticello at the five yard line. 
Plateau Valley bounced back on the next play when they intercepted the ball in the endzone. Then they drove 80 yards on two big plays to get their first points on the board and make the score 14-8.
Monticello’s next drive saw the Buckaroos go backwards on their own mishandled snap. The Cowboys nearly took the lead when they blocked a Monticello punt, but a touchdown-saving tackle by Chandler Henderson held them to a first-and-goal at the three.
Facing the prospect of trailing for the first time in the game Monticello’s defense proved resiliant, turning back four rushing attempts by the Cowboys. With the stop MHS regained possession and momentum early in the second quarter.
The Bucks proceeded to drive 98 yards, adding to their lead. A big 72-yard pass from McDonald to Carter Rogers set them up at the five yard line. From there Thomas Fullmer punched into the end zone on a run. An unsuccessful PAT kick resulted in a 20-8 lead.
A quick three-and-out by the Buckaroo defense gave Monticello the ball at the Cowboys’ 30 yard line. They quickly added another score on a Fullmer nine-yard run. A successful kick made the score 27-8.
Another quick defensive stop gave Monticello the ball at the 48. The Bucks drove to the seven where Fullmer caught a pass for a touchdown from McDonald. Another unsuccessful kick attempt left the score 33-8.
The Cowboys moved the ball on their next drive but the Monticello defense once again held strong and they took back over at the 45 yard line. Again the Buckaroos capitalized with a 25-yard touchdown strike from McDonald to Zac Thayn. A successful kick by John Leber increased the Bucks’ lead to 40-8 at the half.
The Cowboys opened the scoring in the second half but Monticello bounced back in the third quarter when Rogers intercepted a pass and returned it 22 yards for the house call.
Monticello added a two-point conversion with a throw from Jackson Keyes to Atwood to make the score 48-16. The Bucks added their final points of the game on a 25-yard touchdown run by Fullmer with another kick giving Monticello the 55-28 victory.
McDonald led the team in passing with eight completions on 21 attempts for 174 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Keyes completed one of three passes for five yards.
Rogers was the favorite target on the day with four catches for 105 yards. Thayn had two catches for 56 yards including the 25-yard touchdown. Fullmer had two catches for 13 yards including the seven-yard touchdown. Landon Shumway caught the Keyes pass for five yards.
Monticello’s run game was led by McDonald who earned 135 yards on the ground on 18 carries. Fullmer rushed for 63 yards on nine attempts with three touchdowns. Black rushed for 38 yards on eight attempts and one touchdown.
On the defensive side of the ball Atwood had 11 tackles including six for a loss and the fumble recovery for a touchdown. Black and Thayn also had 11 tackles on the game.
Fullmer had nine tackles with Shumway recording eight and Henderson recording seven. Rogers had the other defensive touchdown for the Buckaroos with his 22-yard interception return.
Monticello sits in the #3 spot in the 8-Man RPI standings. They’re headed 26 miles east to Dove Creek, CO this Friday, September 22 for a tough matchup against the Colorado 8-Man defending state champion Bulldogs. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. and you can watch it live on

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