The Sand Devils football team easily beat the Tuba City Warriors Friday night on their home turf, defeating them 64-0.
The Warriors came to Page with a decent season record of 4-4.
The Sand Devils offense scored on six of their 10 possessions. On their final possession, they just took a knee and ran out the clock. The Sand Deveils defense also added two touchdowns. One came from a Christian White 35-yard pick-six and the other from a Kimball Begay 12-yard pick-six. Special teams added their own touchdown when Kele Meredith fielded a short punt, then lateraled it to Jacob Doyle who ran it 35 yards into the end zone.
The Sand Devils began the game on offense and scored on their second play, a 72-yard touchdown run by Doyle. Meredith followed that with an 82-yard touchdown run on their next possession.
White was next on the board after he intercepted a pass and returned it 35 yards for the touchdown.
Kimball Begay ended the Warriors next drive when he sacked their quarterback for a 25-yard loss. Meredith returned their punt to the Tuba City 15-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Doyle found Nikolas Yazzie in the end zone to make the score 28-0.
The Warriors next possession was crushed by a drive-ending sack from Cheyenne Richardson and Austin Green. Skylar Claw and Kimball Begay ended the Warriors next drive with a large-yardage sack of their own.
The next touchdown came on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Doyle to Dainian Bitsinnie.
Doyle added another six points just minutes later. The Warriors, punting from their own end zone, muffed the punt which went just 35 yards where it was fielded by Meredith, who then lateraled the ball to Doyle who caught the ball and scampered down the sideline into the end zone to make it 44-0.
All that happened in the first half.
Begay ended the Warriors’ next drive with a 12-yard pick-six.
Running back Hayden Gracia, who had several carries and several points from PATs, got his first touchdown of the game on an 11-yard carry. He’d score again just minutes later following an interception from cornerback Christian Penrod.
Jacob McCabe had the honor of running in the PAT to make the score 64-0, which would remain the final score.
This week is fall break for Page students and teachers, but the football team won’t be taking a break from practice, said head football coach Mitchell Stephens.
“No breaks for us,” he said. “We’re trying to win regionals.”
The Sand Devils offense, defense and special teams have improved and matured noticeably from the beginning of the season and have gelled as a team, but they still have some shortcomings Coach Stephens is attempting to address as his team prepares to move into the post-season.
“We’ve got to throw the ball better and do a better job of running when the defense loads the box, and we’ve got to get better at defending the pass.”
Gracia had 12 carries for 113 yards and two touchdowns. He had an additional six points scored on PATs. Meredith had six carries for 115 yards and one touchdown.
Doyle had one carry for 73 yards and one touchdown. He passed for two more touchdowns.
Yazzie had one reception for 15 yards and one touchdown. Bitsinnie had one reception for 24 yards and one touchdown.
The Sand Devils are now 7-2, and 4-0 in section.
They play their final game of the regular season this Friday hosting the 4-4 Chinle Wildcats. Kickoff is at 7.