Shiprock football comes up short during Chieftain Brotherhood event

Navajo Times | Adron Gardner Dolores Bear Justin Purkat (7) intercepts a Shiprock Chieftain pass at Shiprock High School on Sept. 9.

Navajo Times | Adron Gardner
Dolores Bear Justin Purkat (7) intercepts a Shiprock Chieftain pass at Shiprock High School on Sept. 9.


In the past, as opponents challenged the Shiprock High School football team, the Chieftains would start to hang their heads.

Their body language would be an expression of defeat and it seemed almost every time they would accept defeat early on.

Last Friday, the Chieftains (0-2) lived up to their name and fought until the clock ran out when they hosted Dolores High School (Colo.). Delores defeated Shiprock, 24-14.

Dolores head coach Chris Trusler said his team played well, but was not expecting Shiprock to fight the way they did.

“It was very close, it was a great game for both teams, they both played a heck of a game,” he said. “I really got to give it to coach (Eric) Stovall and the Chieftains tonight; they got a lot of heart, they never gave up.”

Dolores inched their way to the end zone and scored the first touchdown of the game with 5:22 left in the first quarter. They attempted a field goal kick but failed to complete it and they led Shiprock, 6-0.

Toward the end of the second quarter, Dolores took advantage of Shiprock’s defensive mistakes and again inched their way to the goal line. They got as far as two yards before the clock ran out and they held the lead, 6-0.

Seconds into the second quarter, the Bears scored again and after the failed PAT, Delores led 12-0 with 11:51 left in the first half.

On Shiprock’s next possession, Justin Purkat picked off a pass, giving the Bears another touchdown for an 18-0 advantage.

Shiprock fought back. With 40.1 seconds left in the first half Donovan Chee caught a 16-yard pass to score in the right-hand corner of the end zone. Chee finished off the play with two extra points.

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Categories: Football

About Author

Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi

Sunnie Clahchischiligi has been the sports writer for the Navajo Times since 2008. She has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of New Mexico. Before joining the Times, she worked at the St. Cloud Times (Minn.), the Albuquerque Journal, the Santa Fe New Mexican, Sports Illustrated Magazine in New York City and the Salt Lake Tribune. She can be reached at or via cell at (505) 686-0769.