Oree Foster
Staff Writer, AZPreps365.com

Page Sand Devils garner 3A North Region football title outright

October 29, 2018 by Oree Foster, AZPreps365

Page's offensive prowess and stingy defense proved to be the difference in the ball game, as the Sand Devils blanked the Kayenta Monument Valley Mustangs, 54-0, in a 3A North Region contest.

Page's victory enabled the Sand Devils to garner the 3A North Region title outright. The Sand Devils are ranked No. 4 in the statewide power rankings. The Sand Devils host Pusch Ridge of Tucson this Friday at 6 p.m. in the first round of the state tournament.

Page is 9-1 overall and completed the 3A North Region unbeaten at 5-0.

Page head coach Mitchell Stephens said it was a total team win.

"We were able to win the battle up front and throw and catch effectively," Stephens said. "All three running backa and the quarterback ran effectively. Our defense played lights out."

Stephens said running back Hayden Gracia ran for almost 100 yards, giving the offensive line fits on defense.

"Kele Meredith made several big runs," Stephens said. "Our receivers made big plays. Cheyenne Richardson made it difficult for the defense to defend him."

Scoring touchdowns for Page were Kele Meredith, who entered paydirt twice rushing and one receiving. Robert Smith rushed for a touchdown and threw three touchdown passes. Makaio Warner and Justin Salabiye both hauled in one touchdown pass. Denver Sheen returned a fumble into the end zone for six points.

Kayenta Monument Valley head coach Bryan Begay said the Mustangs had a tough time on both sides of the ball.

"It was our inability to stop the run defensively and we couldn't get our offense going," Begay said.

Begay said he is looking forward to the off-season to regroup and get his returning players ready for next year.

"It was a short season," Begay said. "We need to have a great off season. We need to continue to get better and start the process of developing young talent. Key is the weight room. Kudos to the seniors. I'm very proud of them."

Chinle 35, Tuba City 18

The Chinle Wildcats chalked up a 35-18 victory over the Tuba City Warriors in 3A North Region football action.

With the victory, Chinle finished the season 5-5 overall and 4-1 in region play. Tuba City completed its season 1-9 overall and 0-5 in region action.

Chinle head coach Alan Barwick said the key to the win was perseverance.

"We expected a tough game from Tuba City on their Senior Night," Barwick said. "They gave us one."

Barwick credited the entire team as being a key to the victory.

"It was a team effort from start to finish," he said.

Chinle's Juan Curley scored three touchdowns, which included a punt return, a receiving touchdown and rushing touchdown. Darren Woody caught a touchdown pass. Roland Lee rushed for a touchdown.

Barwick said the season was okay, but could have been better.

"We had an okay year," he said. "I didn't get to Chinle until the middle of June and didn't have many guys come out until school year started. The loss to Holbrook really hurt us and haunted us all year. We were still trying to figure out who we were .... and in fact spent most of the season in that mode. We had a great region season .... and feel excited for next year."

Barwick said the Wildcats lose 29 seniors to graduation.

Greyhills Academy 59, Valley Sanders 34

In a season-ending football finale, the Greyhills Academy Knights outpointed the Valley Sanders Pirates, 59-34, in a Little Colorado 2A North Region game.

Greyhills Academy completed its season 2-7 overall and 2-5 in region play. Valley Sanders finished 1-8 overall, 1-6 in region action.

"This season was a learning season for us," Valley Sanders head coach Patrick Boone said. "We had to learn how to play football. We installed a new system on both sides of the field. We had new coaches to learn from too. Overall, we had to rebuild from the ground uo."

Boone praised the offensive performance from Dean Roan, Wyatt Francisco, Chris Ross, Marcellus Barney and Marquette Thompson. Defensively, Boone said key players were Seth Gishie, Demetrius Begaye and Eilah Tatro.

Boone said his team is young, with only seven graduating seniors on the team.

"My offensive line is young," Boone said. "We will be much more prepared to play next season. All my juniors will be back at the skill positions. We are young. My boys didn't give up all year. They played hard. This was a learning experience. We learned a lot about who we are. I am proud of my boys."