Cheyenne picked the perfect night for all three phases of the game to shine.
The Desert Shields opened Class 3A Southern Region postseason play in style Thursday, rolling past visiting Sunrise Mountain’s football team, 42-6.
Cheyenne (9-2) gets a rematch with Sunrise League top seed Moapa Valley next Friday in Overton. The two met on Sept. 14, with the Pirates earning a 21-6 win.
On Thursday, though, the Desert Shields were hitting on all cylinders.
Cheyenne quarterback Joshua Rose threw for two scores and ran for two more, and defensively, the Desert Shields forced three turnovers and got an 88-yard fumble return from Tayjon Bullock.
And for good measure, special teams got in the scoring column, as Rayvion Brown opened the scoring with a 40-yard punt return for a TD.
“I’m so happy for the kids,” said Cheyenne coach Pat Ward, whose team grabbed its first playoff win in six years. “This is certainly what I came out of retirement for. Hopefully, we can play like this for three more games.”
Rose only threw for 67 yards, but had touchdown passes of 18 yards to Mike Reed and 3 yards to Brown. Rose’s 1-yard score with just less than two minutes to play in the first half gave Cheyenne a 28-0 advantage.
After recording 114 total yards in the first half, Cheyenne exploded for 129 yards during a 14-point third quarter, and the Desert Shields were looking ahead to their trip to Moapa Valley.
“It’s going to be a battle,” said Ward about the rematch with the Pirates. “It was a one-score game in the fourth quarter and we made a big mistake deep in our end. We know we will have to play much better this time, but we will be ready.”
Luis Horna led the Desert Shields with 87 yards on five carries, and Majae Madison added 66 yards on 15 trips.
Aginae Cunningham, who had a 50-yard run on the game’s opening carry, led the Miners (3-7) with 165 yards on 17 carries and avoided the shutout with a 3-yard scoring run with 9:40 remaining.