Dallin Leifson pulls down the interception against Monticello Friday.
RANDOLPH, Rich County — The Monticello Buckaroos came into Friday’s contest averaging nearly 40 points a game, but the game turned out to be a defensive battle that sealed their 21-19 win over Rich.
Rich scored with less than a minute left in the game to pull with two points, but Monticello’s Brian Robinson, who runs the offense as quarterback, recorded an interception on the play to preserve the Buckaroo win.
Early in the game, Monticello showed off its high-powered offense on the first drive, but the Buckaroos were unable to convert on fourth down and turned the ball over on the Rebel 1-yard line.
The next two possessions for the visiting team from the south ended with an interception by defensive back Dallin Leifson and a fumble recovery by junior lineman Geoffery Taylor on the Buckaroo 10-yard line.
This produced an unfamiliar site for the Buckaroos of zeros on the scoreboard at the end of the first quarter.
Due to the great field position, the Rebels put the first points on the board when Kaden Thomson was on the receiving end of a 5-yard touchdown pass. Another fumble, this time recovered by freshman Cache Sabey set the home team up on the Monticello 43.
The ball was in the air as the horn sounded to end the half and landed in the hands of Bracken Pinter in the corner of the end zone. A blocked extra point by Gunner Hollingsworth, which would come back to hurt the Rebels in the end of the game, put the halftime score at 13-0.
Thanks to a pair of interceptions by the defense, the Buckaroo offense rattled off 21 points in the second half to put the game away.
Monticello capped a drive with a 23-yard touchdown catch by Jake Duncan. Monticello called a designed fake on the extra point and even though the Buckaroos lined up differently than what was designed Dillon Maughn’s catch in the end zone gave Monticello a 14-13 lead halfway through the fourth quarter.
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The Rebels’ next offensive possession came up an inch short on a fourth-down attempt, which gave the Buckaroos the ball back at midfield.
Austin Wilcox’s second score of the game put the cushion to 21-13 but the Rebels would show their fight.
The Rich two-minute offense went to work.
A 26-yard reception by Brent Wallentine from Austin Groll down to the 7 was a big play as time wound down. Brady Meek, who had sat out a game due to an ankle injury, punched in for the score with 34 seconds left, but Robinson’s heroics sealed the win for the Buckaroos.