Grimes’ kickoff return ignites Mountain Lions in win over Desert Shields

As the wind picked up Saturday night in North Las Vegas, Sierra Vista’s Randal Grimes put in a bit more special teams work pre-game, making sure he could adjust to any heavy gusts while catching punts or kickoffs.

The work paid off, as Grimes’ 80-yard kickoff return to start the second half ignited the Mountain Lions to score 22 unanswered points in the third quarter en route to a 29-14 victory over host Cheyenne.

After struggling to execute against the Desert Shield’s defensive line all night, the Mountain Lions (4-1, 2-1 Division I-A Sunset) found other ways to put points on the board, and took advantage in the third quarter. Grimes’ return broke a 7-7 tie with 11 minutes, 45 seconds left in the third, and Maliek Broady’s 77-yard kickoff return about five minutes later helped the Mountain Lions take 21-14 lead. Moments after, quarterback Oscar Aliaga hooked up with Andrew Peterson for a 47-yard touchdown reception.

Sierra Vista had just six offensive plays in the third and fumbled the ball away on one of them.

Broady led the Mountain Lions on offense with 53 yards on 16 carries, while he also hauled in a 20-yard TD reception. Aliaga completed two of five passes, both of which were touchdowns, to Broady and Peterson.

Cheyenne took a lead briefly midway through the third quarter, after recovering a fumble by Broady. They drove 41 yards in five plays, and David Walker rolled in from four yards out with 6:31 left.

Broady avenged the fumble with his kickoff-return score. The Desert Shields then fumbled two plays into its next possession, allowing Aliga to connect with Peterson.

Cheyenne failed on its next three possessions, as the Mountain Lions had vividly stolen momentum and left their host frustrated when it took the field on offense.

Walker led all rushers with 166 yards on 24 rushes, while Zavieh Harrell caught two passes for 75 yards for Cheyenne (2-3, 2-2).