Raiders beat Cougars in football Battle of Drum
by David Boyle
The Whitehorse Raiders football team earned their second win of the year at the expense of the Monument Valley Cougars on September 16.
Whitehorse won the first football Battle of the Drum since October 2019 by a score of 70-0 to spoil Monument Valley’s homecoming.
The game opened with Whitehorse’s defense forcing a three-and-out on the first possession of the game.
On fourth down Monument Valley punted to Raider kick returner D’Wayne Nakai who fielded the ball around the 40 yard line and promptly returned it all the way to the house.
The Raiders struck again in the first quarter when Dominic Dance ran the ball in for a score. On the next series Camron Nakai caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from D’Wayne Nakai.
D’Wayne Nakai added a six-yard touchdown run and a 56-yard punt return TD in the second quarter. The Raiders’ defense also forced a safety and running back Jose Gutierrez also added a ten-yard touchdown run to give the Raiders a 46-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, D’Wayne Nakai ran for touchdowns from 20 yards and 30 yards out to give the Raiders a 62-0 lead at halftime.
In the second half Kaleb Joe ran the ball in for a touchdown and a two-point conversion made the final score 70-0.
Nakai’s impressive output included two punt returns for touchdowns, three rushing touchdowns, and one passing touchdown on the night.
On the other side of the ball, Nakai caught two interceptions for the Raiders. Joshua Hicks forced a fumble for Monument Valley in the second quarter.
In the second half the Cougars were able to move the ball but were unable to punch it into the end zone. Despite the disappointing score, the Cougars football program is growing.
From the end of August to September 16 the roster doubled from about ten players to 20, with Coach Brad Upshaw reporting they’ve added several players who’ve never played before.
The Cougars are at home this Friday, September 23 hosting the Utah School for the Deaf & Blind.
The Raiders play two home games this week. On Thursday they face the Mancos Bluejays at 7 p.m. On Saturday the Raiders host the Altamont Longhorns who are ranked #4 in the 8-player Utah RPI standings. Whitehorse is right behind, rankedfifth in the classification.