Brilliant second half leads to Sand Devils victory

Quarterback Collin Joe utilizes a Heisman-style stiff arm Friday night. Joe passed for 304 yards and four touchdowns, and ran for an additional 46 yards.

The Sand Devils football team improved their season record to three wins and four losses after defeating the Window Rock Fighting Scouts 26-14 Friday night.

The Sand Devils had a dismal first-half performance, particularly on offense. The Sand Devils offense had several brilliant plays, often for large gains – including a 73-yard touchdown pass from Collin Joe to Aidan Nix – but followed many of the big plays with false starts or other blunders that disrupted the team’s momentum. Page trailed 6-14 at halftime.

“A slow start is not what we wanted, but we made some halftime adjustments, sorted things out and had a great second half,” said head football coach Bubba Billie.

The second half saw a great effort from the Sand Devils defense, which kept Window Rock’s offense out of the endzone. The Sand Devils offense did a much better job in the second half also. They did a better job controlling its penalties and personal fouls, and got into a comfortable, productive rhythm.

Coach Billie highlighted the efforts of Aidan Nix, who gave a particularly industrious, illustrious offensive performance Friday night. Nix had five receptions for 172 yards and three touchdowns, two of which came in the fourth quarter. 

Quarterback Collin Joe also had big night Friday. He passed for 304 yards and four touchdowns, and ran for an additional 46 yards.

Connor Shirley had two receptions for 91 yards and one touchdown. Hunter Richardson had two receptions for 16 yards. He also carried the ball 10 times for 50 yards.

On the defensive side, Emmanuel Manygoats had four tackles and 12 assists, followed by Tyrone Yazzie, who had three tackles and five assists.

The Sand Devils are 2-0 in sectional play with wins against Tuba City and Window Rock.

The Sand Devils travel to Ganado this Friday, Chinle on Oct. 22, and return to their home turf Oct. 29 for Homecoming against Monument Valley.

Coach Billie said his team is preparing for Ganado’s fast style of play.

“They’re quick, especially on offense. They run a combination of passing and running plays out of a bunch of different looks. My two coordinators will come up with a game plan, and that’s what we’ll key on this week in practice,” he said.

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