Whitehorse defeats Monument Valley in high scoring Battle of the Drum football game
by David Boyle
The Whitehorse High School football team defeated Monument Valley 74-28 in the second iteration of the Battle of the Drum this season on October 12. Both teams showed great effort and talent at their last regular season game ahead of the 8-player football playoffs.
The game started off quick for the Raiders as D’Wayne Nakai returned the opening kick 83-yards to open the game with a 6-0 Whitehorse lead, the Raiders two-point conversion failed.
The Cougars responded by moving the ball about 30-yards on their opening drive but a deep pass was intercepted by D’Wayne Nakai. On their first offensive series of the game, the Raiders drove 66-yards capping the drive off with a touchdown catch thrown by Tristan Black to D’Wayne Nakai. The Raiders converted the two-point conversion to make the score 14-0.
The Cougar’s Joshua Hicks returned the following kick-off 75 yards down to the Raider’s two-yard line. On third and goal Melias Cly ran the ball into the end zone, with a successful two-point conversion the score was 14-8 early in the first quarter.
After a failed on-side kick attempt by Monument Valley, the Raiders drove 53-yards capped off with a ten-yard pass from Black to Jose Gutierrez. The two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful making the score 20-8.
The Cougar’s next offensive possession was a three-and-out with the resulting punt returned to the 20-yard line.
The Raiders responded with a two-play drive capped off by a 10-yard touchdown run for Gutierrez a successful two-point conversion made the score 28-8.
Monument Valley’s following drive ended in a fumble recovered by D’Wayne Nakai who returned the ball down to the 40-yard line. On the next play Gutierrez rumbled 40-yards into the endzone to extend the lead 34-8 for the Raiders.
A big kickoff return by Doreon Chee set up the Cougars at the Raider’s 34-yard line, but two big loses on 2nd and 3rd down meant the Cougars were facing a 4th and 35 when the quarter ended with a 34-8 lead for Whitehorse.
On the first play of the 2nd quarter facing a 4th and 35, Monument Valley’s Cly connected with Hicks who went 60-yards to give the Cougars their second score of the game, a successful two-point conversion made the score 34-16 early in the second quarter.
The Cougars kicked another on-side attempt following their score, this time the ball was recovered by Monument Valley.
The Cougars drove to the 15-yard line but the Raider’s defense held strong on a 4th and one to turn the ball over-on-downs.
The Raiders responded with an 85-yard drive capped off with a five-yard touchdown run by Kaleb Joe. The two-point conversion made the score 42-16.
The teams then traded three possessions but no scores to make the halftime score 42-16 in favor of the Raiders.
The Cougars opened the half at the 40-yard line, their drive led them to the 25-yard line but a pass attempt was intercepted by Camron Nakai.
The Raiders drove from the 15-yard line to near mid-field where a 4th down attempt was again stopped by the Cougar’s defense.
The Cougars responded with a sustained 45-yard drive ending in a two-yard touchdown run by Chee. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful making the score 42-22.
The Raiders Elam Etsity returned the following kick-off 70-yards for another Whitehorse touchdown. The two-point conversion was good making the score 50-22.
Monument Valley’s following drive ended in a punt.
The Raider’s offense responded with a 48-yard drive finished by a 15-yard pass from Black to Michael Dee. The two-point conversion was good making the score 58-22 to end the 3rd quarter.
After a defensive stop by Whitehorse, the offense took over again driving 40-yards ending with an 18-yard touchdown run for Aiden Hamm. The two-point conversion made the score 66-22.
On their next defensive stand, the Raiders Camron Nakai caught an interception returning it 54-yards for the Raider’s final score of the game.
The Cougars scored their final score of the game on the next series when Cly threw a 70-yard TD to Chee to make the final score 78-28.
With the win Whitehorse improved to 4-4 on the year in 8-player games. The record secured them the 5-seed in the final 8-player Utah RPI. The Raiders will travel to Hildale, Utah on Friday, October 28 to take on Water Canyon High in the first round of the 8-player football playoffs.
Monument Valley fell to 1-7 on the year in 8-player games. The Cougars secured the 7-seed in the final 8-player Utah RPI. The Cougars will travel to Randolph, Utah on Friday, October 28 to take on Rich High in the first round of the 8-player football playoffs.