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Tuba City overcomes slow start, beats Red Mesa

Tuba City overcomes slow start, beats Red Mesa


The Tuba City football team had to overcome a “super slow start” last Friday against Red Mesa.

The Warriors trailed 6-0 at the half before storming back with a 16-12 win on senior and homecoming night.

“We had a super slow start,” Tuba City coach Vincent Lee said. “We had a lot of distractions leading up to our game. We just had a lot of stuff going on before our football game. We weren’t as focused as we should have been.”

Tuba City improved to 4-4 overall and 2-0 in San Juan Region play. Red Mesa, meanwhile, dropped to 0-7 for the year.

“Red Mesa came ready to play despite what their record indicates,” Lee said. “They’re a good team and they came out full throttle, ready to play. They jumped on us and we were not quite in the mindset we needed to be.”

Lee said he would have liked for his team to perform a little better on the offensive end, but they had some costly miscues.

“We were able to sustain drives, but we weren’t able to put points on the board,” he said. “A lot of that was miscues on offense. We also had some injuries going into this week to some key players.

“So we had other kids in there that are still learning,” he added. “They’re still in the process of finding their spot on the offense.”

According to Lee, Red Mesa returned a pick-six for the first half’s only score. In the second half, Tuba City responded with a pair of rushing TDs from senior Ethan Tallman for a 16-6 cushion.

“He’s our backup running back,” Lee said. “He’s been pushing our starter and we went him, and he energized our offense.

“He wouldn’t go down, so we kept him in there,” he added. “He got it done for us.”

The Warriors will travel to Chinle on Friday for another region game before closing out the season with a freedom game with Piñon.

“We’re taking Chinle very seriously,” Lee said. “They have a very seasoned coach and they have a huge offensive line. We’ve watched some of their film and they’re getting better every single week, and it’s going to be an absolute fist fight.”

The Warriors are looking to extend its four-game winning streak as a win on Friday night will earn them the region title.

“It’s a good feeling to be on this streak,” Lee said. “It’s a good feeling, considering how we started the season at 0-4. I mean, we had some tough losses against Ganado and Hopi.”

The Tuba City coach said those early setbacks have taught his team to overcome adversity.

“One of things we had to do is look in the mirror and ask ourselves, ‘Are we football players?’” Lee said. “We could have looked at this season and say ‘Boo-hoo, this is a tough season,’

“But our guys have responded,” he added. “They played hard and they worked to improve themselves and as a result we’ve won the last four games. We’re looking to finish the season with six wins and have a playoff berth.”

About The 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


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