By Sam Conner–
The Winslow Bulldogs cruised past the Monument Valley Mustangs 60-12 Friday night in Kayenta. The victory improved Winslow’s record to 7-2 with only a game with the top ranked Blue Ridge Yellowjackets remaining in the regular season. Monument Valley fell to 6-3 for the season.
The Bulldogs played well on both offense and defense. Winslow scored three touchdowns on seven pass interceptions. They also scored on a fumble recovery as they racked up more than 500 yards of offense.
Winslow took a short opening kickoff and drove 52 yards to score on their first possession. Caleb Layden ran 35 yards for the touchdown only five plays into the game. Jonathan Oso booted the conversion for a 7-0 lead. Ironically, Layden scored the next touchdown on defense when he picked up a Mustang fumble and raced 30 yards to the end zone. The conversion increased the lead to 14-0.
Both teams managed to drive deep into the other’s territory, but lost the ball on downs inside the opponent’s 20 yard line. The first quarter ended with Winslow leading 14-0.
Kelly Wood ran 60 yards for a Winslow touchdown early in the second period and Oso’s conversion increased the lead to 21-0. The Bulldogs got the ball back on an interception by Wood and scored on the next play, a 59-yard pass from James Martinez to Shane Sweet. The conversion increased the Bulldogs lead to a comfortable 28-0 with most of the second period left to play.
The next score was set up on Wood’s second interception and came on a 33 yard pass from Martinez to Henry Montiel. The conversion increased the Winslow lead to 35-0. The rout continued as Winslow scored again on its next possession on a 31-yard pass from Martinez to Tito Johnson. The conversion failed and the Bulldogs had a 41-0 lead.
Monument Valley finally got on the scoreboard on a six-yard run by Dion Bailey to complete an 80-yard drive. The pass for a two-point conversion failed and Winslow led 41-6 with less than a minute left in the first half. The Bulldogs did have a threat going when the half ended.
Wood got his third interception of the game and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown at the start of the second half. The conversion failed and Winslow led 47-6.
Montiel ran 55 yards for his second touchdown of the game on Winslow’s next possession. The conversion was blocked, but the Bulldogs had still increased their lead to a convincing 53-6 with most of the third quarter remaining.
Monument Valley came back to score on a 35-yard pass from Redmond Delmar to Kervin Tom. The two-point conversion attempt failed and Winslow led 53-12.
The Mustangs threatened again near the end of the third quarter, but Montiel intercepted a pass and returned it 99 yards for another Winslow touchdown on defense. It was his second interception of the game and his third touchdown. The conversion kick was good, increasing the Winslow lead to 60-12. That was the score at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was scoreless, with Winslow reserves playing most of the period. Winslow walked off with the 60-12 victory.
The Bulldogs have probably wrapped up a playoff appearance and are likely to host that first round game on Friday, Nov. 4. They have a difficult final game of the regular season on Friday, Oct. 28, when they entertain the Blue Ridge Yellowjackets. Blue Ridge had a test of its own on Friday against the formidable Show Low Cougars, one of two teams to defeat the Bulldogs. The Yellowjackets remained undefeated by the narrowest of margins, winning 10-9 over the Cougars with the difference in the outcome being a blocked conversion attempt by the Yellowjackets.