Canyon Springs wins first game back after pepper spray incident

Canyon Springs showed little rust getting back onto the field.

Thursday was the Pioneers’ first game back since the postgame incident with Basic two few weeks ago, in which pepper spray was deployed. Canyon Springs and Basic’s game was ruled a double forfeit, and both squads forfeited their following game.

Back on the field for the first time in 13 days, Canyon Springs quarterback DiaMante Burton had a hand in four touchdowns — two rushing and two passing — in the Pioneers’ 54-6 road victory over Valley.

“We were shut down for a little bit, but it felt good to get back out here and run around and play,” Canyon Springs coach Gus McNair said. “They know an opportunity was taken away, they lost it, they blew it.”

Burton started the night with his first pass attempt going for a 21-yard score on the Pioneers’ opening drive. Burton capped off the team’s scoring in the first quarter with a 4-yard touchdown run with 1:27 left, putting them up 14-0 after a period of play.

Jayvion Pugh led Canyon Springs (2-4, 1-0 Northeast League) with 122 yards rushing and two touchdowns. After leading 27-0 at halftime, Pugh opened up the third quarter with a 56-yard touchdown run.

“Execution, that was the key this week, execution,” McNair said. “We have got to get better as the weeks go along, if we plan on making any type of run come November we have to get solid and execute better.”

Following Pugh’s third-quarter score, Valley (1-4, 0-1) scored its lone touchdown of the game on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Bryce Jones to Leeland Crawford. Jones completed 5 of 9 passes for 65 yards and led the Vikings in rushing with 27 yards.

When asked about his defense’s play tonight, McNair praised its performance and the unit’s versatility.

“Defense played well, rallying to the ball a little bit,” McNair said. “We tried to switch a couple things up in the second half. Get guys some reps at positions they don’t regularly rep at, trying to prepare them in case we need them.”