When Cheyenne’s football team needed a big play in the second half Friday against visiting Cimarron-Memorial, Desert Shields quarterback Joshua Rose put his faith in fellow senior Mike Reed.
Rose fired two of his four TD passes to Reed — both at crucial points in the second half to answer Spartan scores — and Reed answered by overpowering defenders to come up with the catch each time to help Cheyenne hang on for a 35-19 season-opening victory.
“We saw the mismatch, and we checked to Reed, and he did the rest,” said Rose, who finished with 192 passing yards. “We had good preparation all week. Watching film and learning their coverage. It was all about preparation.”
Rose’s fourth TD toss of the game came with 3:13 left in the fourth quarter, as he lobbed a 25-yard throw that Reed snared on the right side of the end zone. That extended the Desert Shields’ lead to 28-13.
Cimarron answered with an 87-yard return by Marcus Poole on the ensuing kickoff to make it 28-19. But Cheyenne’s Charleston Tooks scored on a 48-yard run two plays into the Desert Shields’ next drive to seal the win.
Cheyenne head coach Patrick Ward said getting the passing game going was the plan to counter the Spartans’ front line.
“Cimarron is so big and strong, and they are absolutely a good football team,” said Ward. “So, we came in with the idea that we can throw it and catch it. We hoped we could do it well.”
Trailing 14-0, Cimarron opened the second half with a successful onside kick, and promptly marched down the field and scored on Jordan Norwood’s 2-yard TD run of the game to trim the Desert Shield lead in half.
But Cheyenne (1-0) answered after a muffed catch of a punt by Cimarron gave Cheyenne the ball at the Spartans’ 26-yard line.
Three plays later, Rose fired a 15-yard pass to Reed in the end zone against one-on-one coverage. Reed grabbed the pass over the defender.
Reed finished with three receptions for 77 yards and two TDs.
Jordan Norwood rushed for 78 yards and two scores to lead the Spartans (0-1), who had two long touchdown plays called back by penalty.
“A lot of things went our way. And we have a lot of things to improve on, because we made a lot of mistakes in places we shouldn’t make them,” said Ward. “In the first ball game, kids are going to make mistakes.
But I’m pleased with the outcome.”