FARMINGTON — Navajo Prep played a strong second half, but the team was unable to erase a big first half deficit in a 48-44 loss to the defending 1A state champion Escalante.
The Eagles fell into a hole in the first two quarters, trailing the Lobos 36-8 at halftime, but following the break, Prep made adjustments on both sides of the ball to chip away Escalante's lead.
"We were more physical, and they're used to teams folding," said Prep head coach Rod Denetso. "I'm proud of the team and coaching staff. We're really going to feed off this. It was big for us. I hope this gives us respect. We had them on their toes. We're a legit team and a contending team."
After the Eagles trimmed the Lobos' lead to 48-44 with 40 seconds left, Prep attempted an onside kick, but the team was unable to recover, and Escalante ran out the clock.
Prep quarterback Tyler Sorensen had a massive game through the air for the Eagles, throwing for 630 yards and five touchdowns.
Isaiah Yazzie was Sorensen's main target, catching 15 passes for 353 yards and three touchdowns.
Mika Mauga had over 100 yards of total offense and a touchdown.
The Eagles (3-1) will look to respond after their first loss in a home game against Santa Fe Indian School.
"We're going to play hard and go up against Santa Fe Indian," Denetso said. "I think our kids are starting to love the game and buy into what the coaches are teaching."
Pojoaque Valley 45, Shiprock 14
Shiprock struggled to contain the Pojoaque Valley offense in a 45-14 loss on the road.
"They threw the ball a lot, and we're mixing it up on offense," said Chieftains' head coach Storm Tallbull. "They gave our defense a lot to look out for. They'd spread it out sometimes, then they'd run their triple option. They kept us off balance."
The Chieftains (1-3) entered halftime trailing the Elks (2-2) 25-6 with their lone score coming on a touchdown pass from Irwin Holiday to Quadry Smith.
Dwyatt Holiday ran in the second Shiprock touchdown in the second half, but the Chieftains were unable to make a comeback in the final two quarters.
The Chieftains will look to rebound from the loss with a trip to Dulce on Friday.
"The next step is going back to find what works best for us," Tallbull said. "A lot of guys were injured, and that hurts us. I know we have some things to fix up."