Begay, Sharpe and Vigil earn Daily-Times prep athletes of the week accolades
FARMINGTON − Three local prep football teams were aided by strong individual achievements on the field this past weekend which propelled them to victory.
Here's a look at some of this past weekend's top individual performances on the gridiron.
Jarvis Begay, Shiprock High School football
A four-touchdown effort by the senior tailback lifted the Chieftains to a 28-12 win on the road Saturday night, giving Shiprock High School's football team their first win in more than a year and ending a 10-game losing streak.
Begay ran for a pair of scores, while also returning a punt for a touchdown and grabbing a scoring pass from quarterback Austin King as the Chieftains improved their record to 1-1 on the season.
"It was a real special night for him," said Shiprock head coach Anthony Clah. "For so many of these kids, football has been something they've been learning on the fly. We didn't have a JV program and we don't have a youth football program out here, so for these kids to step up the way they have has been great."
Begay ran for more than 95 yards in the Chieftains opener, a 12-7 loss on the road against Tohatchi on Aug. 19. He also recorded four solo tackles as one of many players on the limited roster to play both sides of the ball.
"We're still limited by numbers," Clah said. "But that hasn't stopped a lot of these kids from really stepping up and contributing where they can."
The Chieftains will be busy this week preparing for their next game, which will be their home opener Friday night against Cuba.
Ryan Sharpe, Bloomfield High School football
Continuing to his hot start to the season, the senior quarterback completed 11 of 17 passes for nearly 200 yards and four touchdowns before he was pulled late in the second quarter from Friday's 56-6 blowout win at home over Pojoaque Valley.
Sharpe tossed touchdown passes to Jesse Seitzinger, Drew Perez, Andrew Bair and George Rascon as the Bobcats improved to 2-0 on the season. Sharpe now has completed 29 of 44 passes and thrown 10 touchdowns on the season.
"His game play in the first two games of the season have been great," said Bloomfield head coach Mike Kovacs. "He throws the ball to multiple targets and keeps the offense moving."
Kovacs attributes much of Sharpe's early success to the work he put in during the offseason, which included practice drills with teammates and working on his preparation.
"Now that the season is off and running, you can see where all that work has gone," Kovacs said. "You can really tell it has transferred to on the field."
Bloomfield will be home on Friday night looking to go 3-0 on the season when they face Grants.
Dax Vigil, Piedra Vista High School football
The senior athlete, who doubles as both an offensive star as well as defensive standout for the Panthers, recorded a pair of interceptions Friday night as Piedra Vista earned a hard-fought 14-12 win at Hutchison Stadium over Sandia.
The second interception, in the waning moments of the contest and with Sandia driving for what would have likely been a game-winning score, was one of several big plays for Vigil on the night. He also threw for a touchdown and helped slow down Matadors running back Malachi Thymes, who came into the game off a 260-yard effort in Sandia's opening game the week earlier against Atrisco Heritage Academy.
While Thymes did manage to find the end zone twice and ran for more than 100 yards in the game, the Panthers defense gave him only limited opportunities.
"He also came in and punted for us and ran the ball well, so it was a great effort," said Panthers coach Jared Howell of Vigil. "That was a really great night for him. A lot of times when he got first contact on that running back, it was for little to no gain, so that helped the rest of the defense make plays."
Through two games this season, Vigil has three interceptions, including a 60-yard return for a score in the season opener against Farmington. He also caught a touchdown pass from Logan Howell in that game, making him one of the most versatile players on the roster.
"The kid is just a playmaker and he doesn't want to lose," Howell said of Vigil.
Friday's win over Sandia improved Piedra Vista's record to 2-0 ahead of a big showdown on Friday night at home against Durango, one of the top teams in Class 3A from the state of Colorado.