Dust Devils finish season as NAIC Champions

Running back Braylon Rupp scored a touchdown on the opening play of the championship game. It was his 28th touchdown of the year, a new Page Middle School record.

Braylon Rupp breaks Page Middle School touchdown record

The Page Middle School Dust Devils football team are the 2023 NAIC champions after its 12-8 victory over the Chinle Bobcats.

The Dust Devils received the opening kickoff last Wednesday night. Dust Devil Kaden Adakai fielded the kickoff on the left side of the field and carried the ball to his right, into the center of the field, which drew the Chinle defenders in that direction in their pursuit. After running about 15 feet, Adakai lateraled the ball to Braylon Rupp, who sprinted to the left side of the field.  With the bulk of the Chinle defenders moving right in pursuit of Adakai, Rupp found a large, open seam down the near sideline, and he carried the ball all the way to the endzone. The Dust Devils were unsuccessful on their point after touchdown (PAT), but they carried a 6-point lead with just 19 seconds off the clock.

Chinle’s offense also scored on its first possession. Starting on their own 40-yard line, the Bobcats steadily and methodically advanced the ball down the field. They completed their drive with a 25-yard jet sweep into the endzone. The Bobcats went for 2 points on their PAT attempt, and they were successful. They led 8-6 with 3:50 remaining in the first quarter. 

The Dust Devils scored again on their fourth possession, in the final 40 seconds of the first half after a bit of impromptu trickery. Quarterback Jacoby Daniels passed to Brylon Rupp, who pulled in the pass around the 27 yard line and began running. He was corralled by two Chinle defenders and stopped, but not tackled. Before he could be tackled, Rupp lateraled to Andrew Hawker, who then carried the ball the remaining 20 yards into the endzone. 

Page again came up short on their PAT attempt but went into the half leading 12-8, which would be the game’s final score. 

The Bobcats finished the season with an impressive 7-2 overall record.

During the course of the season, Braylon Rupp scored 28 touchdowns, which is a new record  for most touchdowns scored in a season for Page Middle School. He tied the old record of 24 touchdowns during the semi-finals game and added four more, including one during the championship game.

This was Kyle Ybanez’s first year as Page Middle School’s football head coach. Ybanez was proud of the way his team played Wednesday night and throughout the season.

“We played tough tonight and that’s all I can ask of them,” said Ybanez. “It was a battle the whole season. I was very impressed with the kids and how much they wanted to learn about the game and how much they wanted to work every day. I’m very proud of what they accomplished.”

Congratulations Dust Devils! 

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