Three plays cost the Kanab Cowboys dearly and their season came to an end last Friday at the hands of #1 ranked San Juan.

The first one came on the opening kickoff...when the Broncos squib-kicked the ball short, down the center of the field. It touched a Cowboy player and San Juan recovered deep in Kanab territory. It didn’t take the Broncos long to put the ball in the end zone and take a 7-0 lead.

The second one came later in the first period...when Kanab had a 65 yard touchdown run by fullback Cody Barber called back on a questionable clipping penalty. The flag was thrown 20 yards behind Barber as he was crossing the goal line, not having anything to do with the play. It wasn’t even a clip, according to head coach Bucky Orton, who watched the play several times on tape over the weekend.

“It was a terrible call, just terrible!” said Orton, “and it really took the momentum away from us.”

Later in the first quarter, Kanab would get on the scoreboard, following an interception by defensive back Kade Quarnberg.

Wide receiver Kyson McBride hauled in a Quarnberg pass from six yards out to tie the game at 7-7.

The Bronocs would get the only score of the second frame to take a 14-7 lead at the half.

The third, and most painful, play came on the final run of the half...when Kanab’s fullback Cody Barber was knocked out of the game with a dislocated shoulder. He would not return in the second half and the coaches had to make major changes, both on offense and defense, as Barber was also their top linebacker.

“We played our best game of the year, at least in the first half,” said Orton.

After one Bronco score in the third period, Quarnberg threw a 10 yard scoring pass to Brandon Nielson to get the Cowboys within seven once again, 21-14.

On the next Bronco possession, San Juan figured if they just ran it straight at our young Cowboy replacement at linebacker, Kanab couldn’t stop them. And that’s just what they did for the rest of the game, scoring on four more long touchdown runs, and pulled away for a 47-14 victory.

Coach Orton said, “who knows what would have happened if Barber didn’t get hurt. San Juan might have still worn us down in the fourth quarter with their depth, but I really think we could have kept it close and maybe pulled it out at the end.”

Orton added that San Juan had allowed only 20 points over eight games. If you add in the touchdown that was called back, Kanab would have tallied 21 points...in only two and a half quarters.

“I can honestly say that I’ve had as much fun coaching this year as I’ve ever had,” said Orton. “The ‘Boys got better every single week. They were a pleasure to work with.”

In other 2-A playoff games, South Sevier stunned Enterprise 6-2 to advance to face San Juan this Saturday at 11 a.m. at Pleasant Grove High School.

The other semi-final has South Summit facing Millard at 2 p.m. South Summit pounded Beaver 46-0 and Millard edged Grand 21-14 in overtime.

The 2-A state championship game will be played at Southern Utah University in Cedar City on Saturday, November 13 at 2 p.m. I predict it will be a rematch of last year’s title contest, San Juan versus South Summit. But this year, South Summit will topple San Juan and be the 2010 state champions.