The game drew a large crowd to the tightly contested game, with new bleachers, sound system, and concession stand, great half-time entertainment and all in the spectacular setting in Monument Valley.
The Monument Valley Cougars had their chances, driving within the Raider ten-yard line numerous times, but they couldn’t punch it in. The Raider defense bent, but would not break as they held back the Cougars time after time.
An early Cougar drive made it all the way to the seven-yard line before a fumble turned it over to the Raiders.
Later, while taking advantage of deep passes to Jaden Ahotsosie, the Raiders drove to the six-yard line before their drive stalled. Raider quarterback Garrett Nez was sacked to stop the drive.
Later, Raider Elijah Garcia intercepted a pass by Terrell Blackmountain to stop another deep Cougar drive.
Whitehorse held a narrow 6-0 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Cougars returned a punt inside the Raider ten-yard line, but the drive stalled once again. Elijah Garcia knocked down a fourth down pass into the endzone.
Raider Dylan Lansing scored with 2:22 remaining in the third to give Whitehorse a 12-0 lead. Soon afterward, Paulando Dennison returned a punt all the way for a 18-0 Raider lead going into fourth quarter.
Whitehorse scored two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, while Monument Valley finally punched the ball into the end zone on a run by Blackmountain.
The final score was 32-6.
The Battle for the Drum was the final game for a large senior class for the Raider. Seniors include Dylan Lansing, Hank Lee, Micah Becenti, Justin Begay, Aaron Benally, Geralando Dennison, Paulando Dennison, Elijah Garcia, Bodacious Joe, Garrett Nez and Dinet Wilson.
For the Cougars, playing in their last game are Terrell Blackmountain, Trevan Holiday, Shami Gray, Cordell Clitso, Yokeen Saltwater, Ryan Hosteenez, Brandin Chee, and Avery Black.
Cougar Coach Jim Dandy Jr. praised the play of the senior class and particularly the hard work of Avery Black. Dandy said that despite a visual handicap, Black worked hard, kept up his grades and came to practice every day.
“He is a great person,” said Dandy. Several opposing teams accommodated plays to get Black the ball throughout the season.