Crownpoint grabs early momentum in 39-16 win over Thoreau

Navajo Times | Adron Gardner Thoreau Hawk John Joe (20) tackles Crownpoint Eagle Noah Manuelito (16) on Sept. 23 in Thoreau. Crownpoint defeated the Hawks, 39-16.

Navajo Times | Adron Gardner
Thoreau Hawk John Joe (20) tackles Crownpoint Eagle Noah Manuelito (16) on Sept. 23 in Thoreau. Crownpoint defeated the Hawks, 39-16.


The Crownpoint football team set the tone early and stunned the Thoreau fans into silence.

It did not matter that Thoreau was playing before a large crowd for homecoming last Friday night, as the Eagles scored three early touchdowns en route to a 39-16 win.
“Usually we start off slow but we actually came out and played,” Crownpoint first-year coach Roderick Harlan said. “I told them Thoreau was not going to lay down for anybody. The kids just went out there and did their jobs.”

In one of their best performances under Harlan, the Eagles used a big 20-point outburst in the first five minutes of the game to established early control.

Isaac Pool got it started by returning the opening kickoff for a 78-yard score. The Crownpoint freshman found an opening on the right side of the field and torched Thoreau with his speed.

“The field was wide open and I just took it,” Pool said.

On the ensuing kickoff, Thoreau started their drive near midfield thanks to a 41-yard return by freshman Cordell Platero. The Hawks got the ball down to Crownpoint’s 37-yard line but Thoreau junior quarterback Elliott Peterson had his pass picked off by Crownpoint cornerback Noah Manuelito.

The Eagles wasted very little time and marched 63 yards in four plays for a 14-0 lead with junior running back Isaiah Pool breaking a couple of tackles on his way to a 52-yard touchdown.

Things didn’t get any better for Thoreau as they fumbled the ball in their next two possessions, including one where Crownpoint defensive end Dallason Davis cashed in with a score for a 20-0 lead with seven minutes left in the opening quarter.

“Some of the veterans took over the leadership,” Harlan said of their early lead. “That is what is our team is made of. They work together as one.”

“We came out vicious and that gave us an early edge,” Isaiah Pool added.

Thoreau had a chance to get on the scoreboard during a time-consuming drive late in the first quarter but the Hawks could not convert on a fourth-and-short in the early going of the second. Thoreau reached Crownpoint’s 7-yard line but Peterson’s pass to tight end Gene Hosteen was dropped in the end zone.

“It was a combination of penalties and turnovers that set us back,” Thoreau coach DeJong DeGroat said. “I give all the credit to Crownpoint. They were prepared and they were ready to go tonight.”

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Categories: Football

About Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at