Note: Kanab finished with an 11-2 overall record in 2016 and first in 1A South with a 4-0 record. It lost to Duchesne 19-17 in 1A championship.
KANAB — Ever since the Kanab Cowboys re-entered the 1A ranks in 2013 following a stint in 2A, they’ve been knocking on the door of a state championship.
They made the semifinals the first two years, then went to the championship game in both 2015 and 2016 before losing by three points both times. As such, the Cowboys are certainly one of the teams to be reckoned with each year.
“I think every year’s a new year, and we get to learn from the teams in front of us what to do sometimes and you learn what not to do,” said head coach Bucky Orton. "That’s what we’ve talked about as a team, is we want to take all the good things from the group of seniors that left us last year and what they taught us and continue those traditions and the good things they taught us and we also want to improve in some areas and do some things a little bit different and a little bit better.”
Because last year’s senior class was full of key contributors, Orton acknowledged there is some uncertainty heading into 2017. On the plus side, though, he has some important pieces coming back, and perhaps more importantly, he feels as though this year’s team already has developed a winning edge.
“They kind of have that chip on their shoulder mentality, which I love as a coach,” he said. “You always love that. It’s kind of a natural mentality. It’s not something that I’m having to instill in them. It’s something that they already have felt. I love that feeling that I get that these guys want to prove themselves. They want to prove themselves. That’s something that I’m really excited about.”
Kanab Cowboys at a glance
Coach: Bucky Orton is entering his 15th season as Kanab’s head coach. He is a graduate of Kanab High School and attended SUU and Utah State.
Kanab Offensive Snapshot
Offensive coordinator: Mason Fox (6th year)
2016 offensive production: 30.5 ppg (2nd in 1A)
-- Four returning starters
-- Spread offense
Returning offensive starters
Tavin Ott (QB)
Jaxson Giddings (OL)
Jake Shakespear (OL)
Parker Collins (WR)
Newcomers to watch
Kayden McDonald (WR)
Dillon Rios (RB)
Wyatt Houston (RB>
Orton’s comments on Tavin Ott:
“I want him to play free and easy like he should as a senior. He’s got a lot of experience. This is where he can play free and easy and be a leader. This is his opportunity, and if he can do what he’s capable of doing, then I see him having a good year.”
Orton’s comments on Jaxson Giddings and Jake Shakespear:
“We’ve got two good kids to build our offensive line, and really our defensive line, around, and the rest of the kids are just going to have to learn.”
Keys for offensive success in 2017: With an interesting mix of veterans and players moving into more prominent roles, the Cowboys’ success in scoring could come down to how well some of the lesser-experienced players rise to the occasion. That is particularly the case along the offensive line, as Kanab will have three new starters. On the plus side, Ott, Giddings and Shakespear have proven capable of playing well in the past.
Kanab Defensive Snapshot
Defensive coordinator: Klint Glover (20 years)
2016 defensive production: 9 ppg (1st in 1A)
-- 4 returning starters
-- 3-5-3 defense
Defensive returning starters
Jake Shakespear (DL)
Jaxson Giddings (DL)
Tavin Ott (DB)
Parker Collins (DB)
Defensive newcomers to watch:
Dillon Rios (LB)
Matt Glover (LB)
Marcus Fox (DB)
Kayden McDonald (DB)
Orton’s comments on the secondary:
“I think our linebacker crew will be fine and our secondary and our defensive line, it’s going to take a little time to polish those up.”
Keys for defensive success in 2017: After giving up fewer than 10 points per game over the last two years, 2017 is going to be a bit of a retooling year for the Cowboys defense. A great deal of responsibility will likely be on the linebackers and secondary, particularly early on, as Orton works to solidify the defensive line. How that line adapts throughout the course of the year will likely go a long way in determining Kanab’s overall success in 2017.
Coaches preseason 1A South straw poll: First
Deseret News 1A South prediction: First
Key Region Game: at Milford, Oct. 6 (Week 8)
Bottom line: Having come up just short of a state title with experienced teams over the last two years, the Cowboys are retooling at some key spots in 2017. That said, some important pieces are returning, and Kanab always seems to work its way into contention come October. If things can get figured out in the trenches early, the Cowboys should be able to do that once again.
Aug. 18 — SOUTH SEVIER, 7 p.m.
Aug. 25 — at Kanab, 7 p.m.
Sept. 1 — RICHFIELD, 7 p.m.
Sept. 8 — BYE
Sept. 15 — DUCHESNE, 7 p.m.
Sept. 22 — at Layton Christian, 7 p.m.
Sept. 29 — RICH, 7 p.m.
Oct. 6 — at Milford, 7 p.m.
Oct. 13 — at Parowan, 7 p.m.
Oct. 20 — MONTICELLO, 7 p.m.
Felts Facts for Kanab High School
All-time record: 416-236-7 (67 years)
Region championships: 22 (1963, 1964, 1971, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977 co, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989 co, 1994 co, 2002 co, 2004 co, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2013 co, 2016)
Playoff appearances: 47
Current playoff appearance streak: 4 (2013-2016)
All-time playoff record: 56-38
State championships: 9 (1974, 1976, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1994, 2005, 2007)
State championship record: 9-8
Most played rivalry: 88 meetings with Beaver dating back to 1950. Beaver leads 50-38.
Felt’s Factoid(s): Kanab was the last team to shut out every playoff opponent. The Cowboys whitewashed all three opponents in capturing the 1986 Class 1A title. ... In the championship game that year, Kanab intercepted seven passes, tying a championship-game record. Nolan Redhead snared picked off three passes himself to set the title-game record for an individual. … Cowboy Brad Dastrup returned seven punts for touchdowns during the 1988 season to set the state record.
2016 — 11-2 (4-0 in 1A South – 1A Runner-up)
2015 — 9-4 (3-1 in 1A South – 1A Runner-up)
2014 — 6-6 (2-2 in 1A South – 1A Semifinals)
2013 — 6-6 (3-1 in 1A South – 1A Semifinals)
2012 — 5-5 (3-4 in 2A South - Missed playoffs)
Kanab coaching history
2003-current — Bucky Orton (110-56)
2002 — Dwaine Hatch (9-2)
1994-2001 — Rod Quarnberg (43-38)
1965-1993 — Arlyn Hafen (210-91)
1962-1964 — Steve Lunt (15-8-2)
1959-1961 — Louis Chatterly (10-11)
1957-1958 — Boyd Adams (4-10-1)
1950-1956 — unknown (10-19-3)
1949 — David Gates (4-2)
Deseret News MVPs the past 10 years
2007 — Logan Mazzettia, RB/LB
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
2016 — Tavin Ott, QB
2016 — Monte Glover, WR/DB
2016 — Layne Anderson, WR/DB
2016 — Kason Whitesides, WR/LB
2016 — Derrik Fox, OL/LB
2016 — Morgan Barton, OL/DL
2016 — Jaxson Giddings, OL/DL
2015 — Alex Foster, RB/LB
2015 — Brandon Southwick, RB/WR
2015 — Derrik Fox, OL/LB
2015 — Morgan Barton, OL/DL
2015 — Danion Barnson, DE
2014 — Aaron Foster, RB/LB
2014 — Davin Houston, WR/DB
2014 — Cody Glover, TE/LB
2014 — Derrik Fox, OL/LB
2013 — Merrill Terry, QB/CB
2013 — Luke Crosby, RB/LB
2013 — Hadin Jones, WR/S
2013 — Nate Bowman, OL/DL
2012 — Brandon Jenson, QB/DB
2011 — Dylan Hill, OL/DL
2010 — Cody Barber, RB/LB
2009 — Rhees Jackson, WR/DE
2009 — Stetson Crandall, OL/LB
2008 — Craig Brinkerhoff, QB/DB
2008 — Bryce Hafen, RB/LB
2008 — Justin Orton, WR/DB
2007 — Ty Bunting, TE/DL
2007 — Thomas Quist, RB/DB
2007 — Levi Vincent, RB/LB
2007 — Rick Visser, OL/DL
To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.