Chieftains use 22-0 first half to put Newcomb away
FARMINGTON — The Shiprock football team continued its hot streak Friday by shutting down Newcomb 30-0 at Chieftain Stadium.
With the blowout win, Shiprock (3-2) has now won three straight games, something the school hasn't done since the 2011 season.
"It's nice to see the kids gain some consistency and some continuity. I think it's awesome," Chieftains coach Eric Stovall said. "The defense was really really good tonight, forcing three turnovers. I'm proud of Zander (Dale) and the offensive line, too. I can't say enough about those guys. They stepped up big."
Sophomore Quiad Shorty filled in at quarterback for Shiprock against the Skyhawks (1-5) as starter Arjay Miller sat the game out with a right ankle injury.
Shorty managed the game well, according to Stovall, even orchestrating a long drive at the end of the first half that he finished with a touchdown pass to Steve Lara as time expired.
"For being a sophomore, he's stepped up and taken a real big leadership role," Stovall said. "Arjay did a good job of keeping Quiad fired up on the sideline. I was really proud to see that kind of leadership out of him, as well."
Julian Aspaas and Brandon Lapahe both picked up rushing touchdowns in the game for Shiprock, which took a 22-0 lead into halftime before coasting to victory.
Stovall said the Chieftains might have coasted a little too much in the third quarter and suffered through a bit of a lull.
"We came out a little bit slow and then finally (Lapahe) scored that one in the fourth quarter," he said. "We're really proud of the kids. And I give credit to Newcomb, those kids played with a lot of heart and a lot of energy tonight."
Stovall said he thinks Miller, who hurt his ankle in the fourth quarter last week in a win over Navajo Prep, may return next week when the Chieftains look to make it four straight wins in a road game against Thoreau (3-2).
"He's healing, and we're going to take it day by day," Stovall said of Miller's injury. "He's getting his treatment, and it's a little early to tell right now, but we're hoping we can get him back next week."