The Magic opened the scoring and never trailed in their 21-7 victory against the Bison on Friday, Sept. 3. Both defenses started the game with fourth down stops before Anthony Staryszak found Carson Kolles from 19 yards out for Monticello’s first touchdown of the year.
Austin Marquette ran in two scores in the second half as the Magic largely controlled the game and played well throughout.
The first two possessions of the game took nearly the entire first quarter off the clock. The Bison got a fourth down stop on the opening possession of the game and then the Magic defense got them right back with their own fourth down stop with 1:47 left in the first quarter.
After doing most of their damage on the ground, Staryszak finished off the drive finding a wide open Kolles in the end zone and a 6-0 lead to finish off an eight play 49 yard drive.
The Magic defense forced another turnover on downs and after missing a field goal attempt, forced a punt with five seconds left in the first half, but threw an interception as time expired going for a two score lead, but still held their 6-0 lead into halftime.
There were a plethora of second half penalties that stalled the Monticello offense several times during the second half after a pretty clean first half. There was a noticeable difference in the amount of yellow flags thrown in the second compared to the first.
Three penalties occurred on the Magic’s first drive of the game with two of them offsetting and drove Monti back 15 yards after starting the drive on Buffalo’s 41. They were forced to punt to Buffalo.
The Bison were forced to punt the ball right back after they lined up to go for it on fourth down before a delay of game penalty pushed them back five yards.
The red and black got back in the end zone thanks to Marquette’s first touchdown of the game from three yards out and Montiello led 13-0 with 5:15 left in the third quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, Buffalo muffed the kickoff and Monticello recovered, but penalties pushed them back and they were forced to punt.
Buffalo opened up their bag of tricks on their ensuing possession. On their own 46 yard line, the tailback tossed a pass to a wide open receiver who took it the rest of the 54 yards and the Bison closed the gap 13-7.
With 5:37 left in the game, the Monticello defense came up huge and Sam Engel sacked the Buffalo QB on fourth and 15 to take over on the Buffalo 29. Engel was first asked to learn defensive end this summer and the early results are promising.
And with 1:46 left in the game Marquette ordered seconds of the Matt Asiata special with another three yard rushing touchdown. Staryszak found Kolles for the two point conversion and Montiello finished off Buffalo 21-7. Wyatt Sawatzke put the cherry on top with an interception to end the game for Montiello and they ran the remaining 67 seconds off the clock.
And just like any good running back, Marquette had to tip his hat off to his offensive line, “I give it all to the o-line. They just completely handled them up front. They finished their blocks, we had a talk at halftime about finishing our blocks, one hundred percent on them. I just got the ball I was just following them,” on his two rushing touchdowns.
The victory was Head Coach Andy Pierskalla’s first win as Monticello’s football coach.
“There was a lot of emotion. It’s exciting to play a rivalry game and we’ve waited essentially two years to play in front of fans. The chance to go out there in front of the Monti crowd was just awesome. We have a lot to clean up, but we’ve got good kids and they’ll take care of that,” said Pierskalla.
The defense flew to the football and Pierskalla thought they tackled pretty well. Bison QB Evan Soeffker completed five of 14 pass attempts for 41 yards and an interception. Buffalo was also held to 3.3 yards per carry on 24 attempts. It was a good team win and their reward is a home game against Rogers on Friday.