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Cheyenne rolls to second straight Class 3A flag football championship

Cheyenne flag football coach Anthony Johnson knows how good it feels to win a Class 3A state flag football championship.

He says it feels even better the second time.

The Desert Shields rolled to a 20-6 victory over Virgin Valley on Thursday evening at Cimarron-Memorial High School to capture their second consecutive Class 3A state championship — they beat the Bulldogs last year, too.

Johnson was eager to celebrate, and brandished a speaker from the sideline late in the fourth quarter to play iconic hip-hop anthem “Big Rings” by rappers Drake and Future.

The Desert Shields (16-4) already had a ring.

Now they have two.

“It’s like another revenge game. It’s a rematch … I loved every moment of it,” Johnson said. “We lost 15 seniors … But there’s one thing about Cheyenne, we never rebuild, we just reload.”

Virgin Valley (17-4) rode running back Nikita Eskelsen to a 6-0 lead in the second quarter, but Cheyenne quarterback E’leseana Patterson responded.

And then some.

The sophomore speedster turned a broken play into a 35-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter, and tacked on two more touchdown runs for good measure.

The Bulldogs had multiple chances to score, but failed to convert key fourth-down plays and capitalize on quality field position.

Patterson was delighted with the outcome, and said she wanted to send the seniors out with a victory.

“Coming out here and getting a win for all my seniors is something that I would love to do every year, even though I’m in the 10th grade,” Patterson said. “Just being proud and seeing their faces and everything, that’s my championship right there — seeing them smile after this game.”

Contact reporter Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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