Hopi High Bruins knock off rival Tuba City 44-12

POLACCA, Ariz. - Blake Sekaquaptewa played a part in five touchdowns when Hopi High School blasted rival Tuba City, 44-12, Oct. 18 in a football game with playoff implications.

Hopi improved to 7-1 for the season and now would get an automatic birth to the state playoffs if they beat Red Mesa. Tuba City dropped to 6-3.

Sekaquaptewa ran for 120 yards on 22 carries and three touchdowns. He also threw a touchdown and returned a kickoff 79 yards for a touchdown. The Bruins' Wyatt Howard had a 101-yard interception return for a touchdown and Clayton Howard scored a touchdown as well.

Hopi High coach Steve Saban said it was a nice win.

"Our running game dominated," he said. "We came in with a game plan. We had four types of running plays and we stuck with them. Our theme was 'Leave No Doubt' and we did just that. It was like a championship game for sectionals."

Saban said the game was well attended.

"Both teams are relevant heading into the playoffs, so that made it sweeter," he said. "Give credit to our seniors because they worked their butts off this season. It's taken four years and it's not an overnight process to get this good. I'm happy for them."

Saban noted that the only blemish against Hopi this season was an overtime loss to larger school Ganado.

"I wish we could play them now because we would beat them nine out of 10 times," he said. "The victory against Tuba City was great for the kids and I couldn't be happier because these are the best kids I've ever coached."

Tuba City came in averaging 50 points a game, but Hopi's defense shut down the Warriors, including a goal line stand. It was on fourth down from the half yard line that Howard came up with his 101-yard interception.

"That was a play you dream about," Saban said.

Sekaquaptewa is leading the state in scoring for all divisions. He has 180 points. Tony Walker from Window Rock is second with 168 points and Luke Quinn from Scottsdale Horizon is third with 138 points.

The Bruins are number one in their division on defense. Hopi has only allowed 34 points all year. The Bruins are third in their division on offense with 38.8 points per game.

Dylan Silas and Tony Silas, who are unrelated, led the Hopi High defense, most notably on the goal line stand plays.

Hopi led 14-0 after the first quarter, 36-6 at halftime and 36-12 after the third period as the Bruins played ball control.

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