Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
RANDOLPH — Four games removed from their dramatic meeting in week six, the Monticello Buckaroos (4-6) and the Rich Rebels (7-2) continue to sit in each other’s way of a state title.
In their first game, Monticello took a commanding 19-7 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but couldn’t hang on as the home team came storming back and pulled off a comeback in stunning fashion.
“We’ve got to make sure we don’t turn the ball over,” Monticello head coach Lee Chadwick said. “We turned the ball over inside the red zone twice (against Rich) and gave them two touchdowns, that’s what was painful.”
“He’s a great quarterback and he reads the option really well,” added Chadwick. “We’ve got to contain their options and play solid defense and I think we’ll be OK.”
The Buckaroos are led by their power running backs Austin Maloy and Dillon Maughan. Maloy has run for 908 yards and 12 TDs on 118 carries, while Maughan has added 59 carries, 531 yards and nine touchdowns on the year.
“Our success with the run game starts on our front line. We make our blocks, the running backs seem to hit the holes pretty well and we do well,” Chadwick commented. “Austin has the ability to make good plays into great plays, so we hope and expect that from him.”
The last time these two teams met, Maughan exploded for 159 yards and one TD while Maloy darted for 78 more yards and two touchdowns in the heartbreaking loss.
“The key to beating them is slowing down Maloy and Maughan,” Rich head coach Ashley Brown said. “Our goal for the day is to try to make them pass the ball and not let those running backs beat us.”
Both coaches know a game like this one is going to come down to execution and turnovers. The Buckaroos, who turned the ball over four times in their nail-biting loss to Rich in week six, know just how important each possession can be.
“When we play good teams like this, it just comes down to error-free football,” Chadwick said. “We’ve got to make sure we don’t have penalties that kill drives, we’ve got to sustain drives and not give up big plays. We’ve just really got to make sure we play mistake free.”
“We’ve just got to be consistent,” Brown added. “We can’t turn the ball over, we’ve got to score when we make long drives and we’ve got to hold their running game down.”
The Buckaroos and Rebels are set to kick off at 3 Friday afternoon.
Monticello statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 29.9 ppg (3rd in 1A)
Scoring defense: 18.8 ppg (3rd in 1A)
Passing leader: Makade Maloy (24-87, 27.6%, 476 yards, 5 TDs)
Rushing leaders: Austin Maloy (118 carries, 908 yards, 12 TDs), Dillon Maughan (59 carries, 531 yards 9 TDs)
Receiving leaders: Austin Wilcox (6 catches, 201 yards 2 TDs)
Tackles leaders: Cole Eldredge (60 tackles)
Sack leaders: Cole Eldredge (2 sacks)
Interception leaders: Austin Maloy (3 INTs)
Rich statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 32.2 ppg (2nd in 1A)
Scoring defense: 18.4 ppg (2nd in 1A)
Passing leader: McKay Jarman (15-40, 37.5%, 248 yards, 3 TDs)
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