Roundup: Navajo Prep Eagles soar to 58-16 rout over Tohatchi on the gridiron; soccer season winds down

The Aztec girls soccer team closed out the regular season with a 3-0 shutout win over district rival Kirtland Central, and have advanced to the state girls soccer tournament as District 1-4A champs.

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The Navajo Prep football team scored early and often Thursday night during a 58-16 rout at home over Tohatchi.

With a balanced offensive approach, quarterback Dontrelle Denetso made plays both through the air and on his feet, as he scored three times in the first half leading the Eagles to their fourth straight win and a 7-2 mark overall on the season.

"It all starts up front," said Eagles coach Roderick Denetso. "(Dontrelle) and the offensive line have really gotten into a good rhythm and he's been able to make plays because the guys up front have helped him out."

Midway through the second quarter, with the Eagles facing a third-and-long situation, Denetso was flushed from the pocket and scrambled around well behind the line of scrimmage before finding a wide receiver open down the middle of the field for a first down which extended a drive that ultimately led to another touchdown. 

Navajo Prep head football coach Roderick Denetso watches from the sidelines during a game against Tohatchi, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 at Navajo Prep High School.

"Dayton Yazzie, Jeremiah Livingston, Jake Silago and the entire line deserve all the credit," Denetso said after the game. "These guys have been playing together all season long and they've come along so well as a unit and give our offense all the confidence they need."

The Eagles pounced on the Cougars early, getting up 16-0 in the first six minutes of the opening quarter. They led 38-8 at the half, with both offensive and defensive contributions aiding the cause.

The Eagles defense forced a pair of turnovers which were quickly converted into scores. The first turnover came on a fumble during Tohatchi's second drive and the second, an interception of a pass from Cougars quarterback DeAngelo Hunch early in the second quarter. 

More:Aztec, Kirtland Central among high school football teams pushing for postseason bids Friday

"Our coaching staff does such a good job breaking down film and getting our defensive starters the right looks for what's coming at them," Denetso said. "That helped a lot in not getting off a slow start like we'd done in the past few games." 

Navajo Prep quarterback Dontrelle Denetso (3) outraces a pair of Tohatchi defenders on his way to a first quarter touchdown, Thursday, Oct. 21 at Navajo Prep High School.

In addition to extending their win streak. the Eagles have a commanding edge in the race for District 1-3A supremacy. Navajo Prep (7-2) has a two-game lead in the overall standings over Tohatchi and have outscored their opponents this season by an average margin of 36-14. 

Navajo Prep will be on the road Friday, Oct. 29 beginning at 7 p.m. when they face Newcomb.

Meantime, volleyball season is in full swing while the boys and girls soccer campaigns are headed to the state tournament. Here's a look back at some of this week's action on the courts and on the fields.

Girls Soccer

AZTEC 3, Kirtland Central 0

The Aztec Tigers girls soccer team closed out the regular season Thursday night with a 3-0 shutout win at home over district rival Kirtland Central, and with the win, have advanced to the state girls soccer tournament as District 1-4A champions.

Rheala Hererra scored all three of the Tigers goals in the first half, while the team shut down the Broncos offense as they wrap up the district season with a two-game win streak, as well as a record of 6-1-1 and an overall record of 7-11-2. 

The Tigers will learn more about their state tournament seedings and matchups when brackets are released by the New Mexico Activities Association on Sunday, with a special show airing live at 5 p.m. via the NMAA website.

"The team's work ethic as a whole is what put them in the playoffs," according to head coach Leroy Nelson. "The team is focused and ready for the playoffs."

Kirtland Central finished the season with a better overall record (10-7-2) but wound up third in the district standings with a record of 4-3-1, one game behind Bloomfield in the final standings.

Boys Soccer

AZTEC 3, Kirtland Central 0

The Aztec Tigers boys soccer team finished off their regular season on the road with a 3-0 shutout victory over Kirtland Central Thursday night at Bill Cawood Field.

The Tigers and Broncos were scoreless at the end of the first half, but Aztec exploded for three goals in the second half to preserve their second straight win.

Aztec finishes the regular season with an overall record of 8-9-3 and a record in District 1-4A of 3-3-2. Meantime, the Broncos close out the season having their six-game unbeaten streak snapped, finishing with an overall record of 7-11-2 and 4-2-2 in district play.

Both Aztec and Kirtland Central find themselves looking up at Bloomfield and Miyamura atop the standings in the district and a likely postseason berth.

Volleyball

BLOOMFIELD 3, Shiprock 0

The Bloomfield volleyball team snapped a three-match losing streak Thursday night at Shiprock, sweeping the Chieftains three games to none in district competition.

The Bobcats won the match with scores of 25-18, 25-22 and 25-20 to even their record in District 1-4A play to 3-3 with an overall record this season to 8-9. Bloomfield will be back in action Tuesday at 6 p.m. to face Aztec.

The Chieftains have lost all six of their district matches this season and have a record of 3-10 overall. They will be in action again Tuesday at 6 p.m. when they visit Kirtland Central.

GALLUP 3, Kirtland Central 0

The Gallup volleyball team earned their eighth consecutive win, keeping their district record unblemished after a three games to none sweep Thursday night at home over Kirtland Central.

The Bengals earned the win with scores of 25-15, 25-13 and 25-22 to improve their overall record to 14-5 with a 6-0 record in District 1-4A standings, giving them a two-game lead over the Broncos in the district standings.

Kirtland Central's loss snaps a four-match win streak, dropping them to 10-9 overall (4-2 district) ahead of a district showdown at home against Shiprock Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680.