POLACCA — Tuba City’s experience proved too much as the Warriors beat Hopi, 51-0, in football action Oct. 1.
JayCee Cowboy ran for four touchdowns and quarterback Johnny Teller 3rd threw for two touchdowns lead the Warriors.
Cowboy ran the ball 13 times for 119 yards and added a 78-yard kickoff TD return. Teller connected twice with scoring strikes to Carson Begay.
The Warriors improved to 4-1 while Hopi remained winless in five games.
Hopi failed to move the ball on its first possession and the Warriors took over on their own 41 following a punt. It took Tuba City six plays to move the 59 yards for the score.
Teller started the drive with a 24 yard trot. Three plays later, Cowboy took off on a 19-yard run. Jake McCabe pitched in with a seven yard run before Cowboy ran it in from four yards out. Teller kicked the extra point as the Warriors led 7-0 with 7:51 left in the opening quarter.
Thomas Yoyokie had a ten yard run for the Bruins on the next drive, but they ended up punting with the Warriors taking over at their own 38. This drive also took six plays including an 11-yard run by Molina, a 20-yard pass from Teller to Alton Tunney, a 12- yard run by Cowboy and an eight-yard carry by Molina before
Cowboy cracked over from the six yard line. Teller kicked the extra point as Tuba City led 14-0 with 3:06 left in the first period.
After Hopi again failed to move the ball, Teller found Carson Begay with a 59-yard scoring strike. Teller split the uprights as the Warriors led 21-0 with 1:22 left in the first quarter.
The teams exchanged punts before Tuba City came untracked midway through the second period. This time the Warriors moved 78 yards in eight plays. McCabe started the drive with a 15 yard run and Teller connected with McCabe on a 25 yard screen pass to setup the touchdown with Cowboy busting loose from the 22 yard line. Teller kicked the extra point as Tuba City led 28-0 with 5:12 left in the half.
After Hopi failed to move the ball, Tuba City hoped for another score before intermission but Lionel Nevayaktewa intercepted an errant Warrior pass to stop the drive.
If Hopi had any thoughts of a second half comeback, it was put to rest quickly as Cowboy returned the second half kickoff 78 yards for a touchdown. Teller kicked the extra point as the Warriors led 35-0.
Midway through the third quarter, Tuba City moved 58 yards in six plays for a touchdown. Cowboy keyed the drive with a 22-yard run before Teller found Begay with an 11 yard TD pass with 5:22 left in the third period. Teller kicked the extra point as Tuba City led 42-0.
Hopi then had its best drive of the game as the Bruins moved from their own 33 to the Warrior 10 before an unsportsmanlike penalty killed the drive.
Tuba City closed out the scoring with an 11-yard TD run by Chadson Chatter and a 27- yard field goal by Teller in the fourth quarter to close out the scoring.
Tuba City Coach Bryan Tate said the Warriors played well and each player contributed to the victory. He said the second team that they use in practice is as tough as any team they play.
“We wanted to get them some playing time. We did that and everybody played well,” he said.
Coach Tate praised Hopi Coach John Schimon.
“He’s a good coach, but he has a lot of young players,” Tate said about Schimon.
Coach Tate said that no matter how young the opposition that he wants to see his team improve and he saw that against Hopi. He said after playing tough games against Winslow and Window Rock that he was concerned about whether the Warriors would play a physical game.
“That did a good job with that. We have a great group of young guys who conduct themselves in a good manner,” he said.
Coach Tate said Cowboy is a tough kid who played an awesome game.
“When your defense does what our defense did that’s what makes the offense work,” he said.
Coach Tate said Gavino Molina Jr., Christopher Edaakai, Tsinigine Longreed and Michael Thayer all had outstanding games. He also praised defensive coordinator James Roe for doing a good job.
“I need to give credit to all my assistant coaches,” he said.
Coach Tate said the Warriors gave up too many yards to Hopi on kickoffs.
“We need to improve on that,” he said.
Hopi Coach Schimon said Tuba City played a great game.
“Their experience beat out our inexperience,” he said. “But our guys played their hearts out, and gave it everything they had. Our defense played well at times, but our offense, well, we’re back to square one after losing our quarterback last week.”
Coach Schimon said the young players need to keep improving.
“We just need to keep our heads up,” he said.
Hopi will travel to Greyhills next while Tuba City will have their homecoming game against Pinon.
(Stan Bindell, former Observer editor, is journalism and radio teacher at Hopi High School.)