San Juan 13, Millard 0
DRAPER — Last season, standout receiver and defensive back Bradley Royer of San Juan did not play football. Instead, he decided to play golf. While Royer was on the links, the Broncos just missed winning a football title, losing in the 2A championship game.
Had the coaches and the rest of the team not talked Royer into playing football this season, it may have ended in similar fashion — but Royer did take his skills onto the field. His two touchdowns, interception and fumble recovery were instrumental in San Juan's 13-0 title-game win over Millard.
"We begged, pleaded and even promised that we would get him a date if he would play football for us," joked Broncos coach Monty Lee of convincing Royer to join the team. "He has great hands, speed and he is a terrific competitor. Sometimes you would rather have someone that is a competitor than someone with physical gifts, but with Bradley, you get both. He is a great young man and a great player. We were lucky to have him on our team."
The Broncos were also a little fortunate to escape the first half in a scoreless tie. Millard came out controlling the line of scrimmage and moving the football better than San Juan. On the opening drive, Millard picked up a pair of first downs and was marching down the field before San Juan's defense, ranked No. 1 in 2A, forced a fumble that was recovered by Brian Kirk. It was the first of four turnovers in the game.
The biggest play of the first half came with under a minute to go before the break. Millard marched to the San Juan 1-yard line. Quarterback Kyle Tuttle was trying to sneak it in from there when Royer came up with his first big play. The Broncos' tackles, Tanner Sharpe and Scott Jeppson — the unsung heroes of the game for the Broncos, according to Lee — bottled things up, and before Tuttle could break the plane, the ball popped loose and Royer fell on it.
"I was just going in to try to push him back and saw the ball come out of the pile," Royer said. "I was just in the right place."
San Juan made some adjustments at the half and the offense came out fired up. It took over the ball at the 18-yard line and promptly marched 82 yards in seven plays. The drive was capped by a 17-yard pass from quarterback Dane Lyman to Royer with a little help from Millard's Clancy Mortensen, who had the ball go through his hands and into Royer's.
"I just put it up there, and Bradley went and got the ball," said Lyman. "He has a knack for making me look good."
Another three-and-out for the San Juan defense saw the Broncos back with the ball at the Millard 49. On third down and nine, Lyman again hooked up with Royer as he turned a quick-slant pattern into a 48-yard touchdown and a 13-0 lead. It was all the top-ranked defense needed to preserve the win and championship.
"We worked hard all season and this is just a great way to end it," said Royer. "Both sides of the ball stepped up and got the job done."