Boulder City head football coach Chris Morelli was left with a bunch of ‘what ifs’ following his team’s season-opening loss Friday night. No play defined that situation more than the one to start the second half.
Cheyenne junior Rayvion Brown took the second-half kickoff of the half 82 yards for a score and the Desert Shields ran past the host Eagles, 24-7. Brown also caught a 41-yard pass late in the first quarter as Cheyenne opened the season 2-0 with a comfortable wire-to-wire victory.
“We knew if they kicked it to No. 3 (Brown) he’d pop one if he got a few blocks,” Cheyenne coach Pat Ward said. “It really helped us and changed the momentum but (Boulder City) didn’t quit.”
Brown’s kick return took all of 13 seconds to develop and once his burst through the middle was complete so was Cheyenne’s first road win of the season. The junior took a squib kick retreating to his left at around his own 18-yard line before dashing through a big seam. Once to the outside, the speedster went the final 50 yards untouched to reestablish a two-score cushion.
“Honestly, we weren’t even trying to kick it to (Brown),” Morelli said. “Those are the kind of kicks that tend to get run back because everyone starts looking and wandering and getting out of their lanes. We don’t normally kick deep but our whole goal was to get the ball down there and get our guys swarming.”
Cheyenne senior quarterback Joshua Rose did enough with his legs and arm to keep the Boulder City defense at bay. Besides hitting Brown on the big pass play in the first quarter, Rose converted a pair of critical third downs early in the second quarter with his feet, eventually leading to his 5-yard scoring sprint to the outside, which gave the Desert Shields a 12-0 lead with 5:41 left in the opening half.
Sophomore Madsion Majae salted the game away late in the third quarter for Cheyenne with a 44-yard scoring run, helping him finish with 116 yards on just nine carries.
Thorsten Balmer scored the only points of the game for the Eagles on an 8-yard run following a pass interference call. Other than that, Boulder City’s offense never took advantage of a pair of second half turnovers, punting and turning the ball over on each subsequent possession.
Balmer finished with 124 yards on 28 carries to lead all rushers.
“Our defense did a great job and we’re funneling a lot of people in and out getting a good look,” added Ward. “The defense stepped up, absolutely.”