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High school football: Kanab Cowboys 2019 preview

Note: Kanab finished with a 2-9 overall record in 2018 and was fourth in 1A South with a 0-3 record. It lost to Duchesne 21-14 in the 1A quarterfinals.

Kanab 2018 offensive and defensive stats

KANAB — It was a weird season for the Kanab Cowboys in 2018.

Perennially one of the better teams in 1A, the Cowboys went just 2-9. The team was injury-laden, and to make matters more frustrating, five of the nine losses came by eight points or fewer, with the first two occurring when Kanab led inside of 70 seconds remaining only to give up touchdowns.

“Last year, it was last year,” Cowboys head coach Bucky Orton said. “We want to learn from it, but we also want to forget about it as fast as we can.”

Given how some of the losses happened, one of the things Orton does want to take from last season is the importance of finishing games. Some of the challenges in that department had to do with mental errors and other times players just ran out of gas, Orton said, but he’s hoping an emphasis during the offseason on consistency in everything players do will help remedy that.

“More consistent with their workouts, every rep, just consistent with not letting their teammates down and being where they’re supposed to be when they’re supposed to be there,” he said. “I’ve had a good turnout, so hopefully it’s just a new year ... we’re not deep at all, so we’re going to need everybody to be ready to roll.”

A challenge Kanab will face this season is going from being among the bigger schools in 1A to being in the middle of the pack in 2A.

“Our kids have just got to learn how to adapt and be tough and suck it up,” Orton said. “No excuses.”

Kanab Cowboys at a glance

Coach: Bucky Orton is entering his 17th season leading the Cowboys. He has an overall record of 117-72 and has won two state championships.

Orton’s comments on new UHSAA RPI:

“I hate it, but that’s just my opinion. I think it makes scheduling (hard) for Kanab particularly where we’re geographically so far away from everybody, and then there’s only a certain handful of teams in our classification that are down here anyway. That makes scheduling a nightmare, because a 3A team doesn’t want to play a 2A team. They’ve got nothing to gain and everything to lose. For us, it handcuffs us. I wish that they’d leave the small schools out of it. Maybe start doing it in 3A or 4A, but I wish they’d leave 2A alone and let us just do it the way we’ve been doing it, but we’ll just adapt. That’s all we can do.”

Kanab offensive snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Bucky Orton

2018 offensive production: 20.2 ppg (4th in 1A)

—5 returning starters

—Wing-T offense

Returning offensive starters

Sam Orton QB

Carter Jackman WR

Clay Shakespear TE

Jace Reidhead OL

Kade Szymanski OL

Offensive newcomers to watch

Kyle Blomquist RB

Mike Warino FB

Trey Chatterley, RB/WR

Drew Hafen, RB/WR

Karson Blomquist, RB

Orton’s comments on quarterback Sam Orton:

“He was our starting quarterback before he broke his finger, so he missed most of the season last year, but he’s got some experience ... I think he’s special. Our season could have turned out a lot differently had he not been injured. He’s definitely a special player. When he gets it rolling, he’s as good as anybody, I think, at the quarterback position.”

Orton’s comments on offensive lineman Jace Reidhead:

“He’s my guy. He’s a guy I can count on. He’s going to give everything he’s got. He knows everybody’s responsibilities up front. He’s a great leader. He was probably my best lineman last year, so I’m excited with his progress and his willingness to lead already early in the season and take ownership of the line and just be that consistent role model that you want for your younger kids to look up to.”

Keys for offensive success in 2019:

Having a healthy Sam Orton back at quarterback will be a big step in the right direction. Can the offensive line come together beyond Jace Reidhead and Kade Szymanski? Bucky Orton also emphasized the importance of everyone doing their individual jobs and not doing things to let their teammates down.

Kanab defensive snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Coby Glover

2018 defensive production: 25.7 ppg (6th in 1A)

—7 returning starters

—4-3 defense

Returning defensive starters

Jace Reidhead DL

Kade Szymanski DL

Justus Waters-Tait, DL

Kyle Blomquist, LB

Clay Shakespear, LB

Sam Orton, DB

Carter Jackman, DB

Defensive newcomers to watch

Mike Warino, LB

Trey Chatterley, DB

Orton’s comments on his defensive line:

“I think we’re pretty talented at our defensive end spots. Just depth is really my concern up front.”

Orton’s comments on linebacker Mike Warino:

“He’s kind of the heartbeat of our team, to be honest with you. When he’s going, it seems like the rest of the team kind of follows him.”

Keys for defensive success in 2019:

The Cowboys are generally very good defensively, but had a down year in 2018. Orton wants to see a return to more physicality within the group and wants to give up fewer big plays than last season. There are some good players at all three levels of the defense. Can Orton find enough depth?

Bottom line

The odds would probably say Kanab will have better luck on the injury front this season and that the team won’t be in as many close games as it was last year, although life will get tougher with the move up to 2A. Can the group take a step forward, or will the increased competition be too much?

Coaches preseason 2A South straw poll: Seventh

Deseret News 2A South prediction: Sixth

2019 schedule

Aug. 23 — at Rich, 4 p.m.

Aug. 30 — GUNNISON VALLEY, 7 p.m.

Sept. 6 — MILLARD, 7 p.m.

Sept. 13 — at Parowan, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 — NORTH SEVIER, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 — at Milford, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 — at Beaver, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 — ENTERPRISE, 7 p.m.

Oct. 16 — NORTH SUMMIT, 7 p.m.


Felts Facts for Kanab High School

All-time record: 423-252-7 (69 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: 49

Current playoff appearance streak: 6 (2013-2018)

All-time playoff record: 57-40

State championships: 9 (1974, 1976, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1994, 2005, 2007)

State championship record: 9-8

Most played rivalry: 90 meetings with Beaver dating back to 1950. Beaver leads 52-38.

Felt’s Factoids: 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 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.


Last 5

  • 2018 — 2-9 (0-3 in 1A South – 1A Quarterfinals)
  • 2017 — 5-7 (1-2 in 1A South - 1A Semifinals)
  • 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)


Kanab coaching history

  • 2003-current — Bucky Orton (117-72)
  • 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 First Team all-staters the past 10 years

  • 2018 — Cody Stubbs, RB/LB
  • 2018 — Marcus Fox, QB/DB
  • 2018 — Cameron Fryer, K
  • 2017 — Jake Shakespear, OL/DL
  • 2017 — Parker Collins, TE/LB
  • 2017 — Tavin Ott, QB/DB
  • 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

To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.