San Juan Football falls to Summit Academy
The San Juan Bronco football team was handed their first loss of the season on August 21 to the hands of the Summit Academy Bears.
Despite it being a tie game early in the third quarter, with both teams tied at 21, the Bears pulled away with four touchdowns from that point on, compared to one for the Broncos. This led to a 49-28 victory for the Bears.
The offensive power of Summit Academy was just too much for the Broncos to handle, but it was oh-so-close, with a series of Bronco miscues determining the outcome of the contest. It could have gone either way if San Juan could capitalize on scoring opportunities and could stop several big Summit Academy plays.
Although frustrated by the loss, Bronco Coach Barkley Christensen is encouraged by the effort against a premier team in the 3A ranks.
“We can compete with anybody,” said Christensen of his young team. He added that they need to eliminate a lot of little mistakes, they need to be more disciplined, and they need to score in the red zone.
The Broncos gave the Bears a short field to start the game after a failed onside kick attempt. Summit Academy marched down the field and scored to make it 7-0 just three minutes into the game.
The Broncos responded with an 82-yard scoring drive, culminating in an 18-yard scoring run by Jensen Grover.
After the subsequent kickoff, Grover recovered a Bear fumble and gave San Juan great field position. Jace Palmer punched it in from six and the Broncos had a 14-7 lead.
After a 53-yard Bear touchdown tied it at 14, the Broncos faced some adversity because quarterback Jace Palmer had sprained his ankle.
In came sophomore backup Jerzy Nieves, who proceeded to complete a 60-yard pass and to march the Broncos to a first and goal at the Bear two-yard line. The Broncos were poised to take the lead.
It was excruciatingly close, but San Juan was unable to punch the ball into the endzone and turned the ball over on downs. On the next play, Summit Academy raced 91 yards to the endzone for a touchdown and a 14-point turnaround.
Once again, the Broncos didn’t back down and put themselves in a position to tie the game at halftime. However, a Bronco pass into the endzone was intercepted by the Bears for a touchback. It was a 21-14 lead for Summit Academy at the half.
Ladd Ivins caught a pass from Palmer that covered 50 yards and tied the game at 21. Summit Academy scored two unanswered touchdowns to regain the lead, including an 87-yard scoring pass.
A one-yard run by Palmer cut the Summit Academy lead to one touchdown, 35-28, in the fourth quarter.
Despite the adversity, the Broncos fought for the entire game and were poised to score lsate in the game, but they turned the ball over on downs at the five-yard line.
The Bears raced 91 yards on the next play to close the scoring in a game that was much closer than the final score indicates.
Even though it was a loss, many Broncos had great performances.
Quarterback Jace Palmer completed 27 of 42 passes for San Juan. Palmer racked in 251 passing yards and one passing touchdown. He was even able to punch in two rushing touchdowns on the night.
Palmer sprained his ankle early in the second quarter and left the game for a period of time. He returned to the field and played in the second half.
Jensen Grover did most of the heavy lifting in the rushing game, with 25 carries for 136 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown run that came in the first quarter.
Cooper Black followed up his great performance in week one with eight receptions and 94 receiving yards.
The real star of this game for San Juan, according to Coach Christensen, is Ladd Ivins.
Ivins pulled in 12 catches and had 185 receiving yards on the night, including a 51-yard bomb from Palmer that Ivins took to the house. Ivins even completed the one pass he threw, a 30-yard toss.
In addition, Ivins led the Bronco defense with nine total tackles, a team high for the game. Two sophomores – Collin Baker and Mangum Nielson – each had seven tackles for the Broncos on the night.
With a record of 1-1 and two impressive performances, the young San Juan Broncos have gotten off to a notable start on the season.
They will take on the Monticello Buckaroos at home on Friday, August 28, with the opening kickoff at 7 p.m.