The Shiprock football team's offense got off to a fast start in tonight's District 1-4A opener at Wingate, resulting in a 66-14 Chieftains victory via third-quarter mercy rule.

The game was originally scheduled for Friday and was postponed due to a referee shortage, but Shiprock resumed its high-scoring ways from its last game.

The Chieftains established their run game quickly and opened things up that way.

"We were able to get behind them and hit the deep ball. The route running has improved over the last few weeks. Fundamentally, we've gotten better," coach Eric Stovall said.

Tyris Newton had three touchdowns, while Quaid Shorty had two touchdowns.

Shiprock also took care of business on defense.

The Chieftains' defensive front had success coming off of the edges, which forced the Bears into making some troublesome throws. 

"We attacked well at the line of scrimmage," Stovall said.

Additionally, Shiprock's secondary deflected numerous passes.

Shiprock (6-2, 1-0) returns home for the first time in a month to host Thoreau at 7 p.m. next Friday.

The Chieftains secured a spot in the 4A playoffs, and they look repeat as District 1-4A champions. But they seek more than just another district title.

"Our goal is to win out, get a high seed in the playoffs. We want to host a playoff game," Stovall said.