Those doubts were quickly erased.
Moments later the momentum swung hard, and the Pioneers pulled out a 32-13 victory over the Sundevils on Friday night to keep pace with Las Vegas for the league’s top spot.
Canyon Springs’ Donnel Pumphrey rushed for 203 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries, but it was until the Pioneers’ defense forced a safety in the fourth quarter that Canyon Springs could breathe easy.
The Sundevils, who trailed throughout, cut the deficit to 16-13 on JaQuorrey Williams’ 53-yard pass to Javen Nihipali with 9:25 to play.
The Pioneers (4-2, 4-0 Northeast) nearly answered on their next drive, but turned the ball over on downs at the Eldorado 5-yard line.
Eldorado (3-3, 3-2 Northeast) was unable to take advantage on the next drive, as Williams fumbled the ensuing snap and it bounced out of the end zone for a safety.
“That was huge in a division game of this magnitude,” Cooper said. “I was pleased with my guys.”
Penalties and poor decisions prevented Canyon Springs from taking control, frustrating the coaching staff.
“It was a sloppy game,” Cooper said. “I think our offense had more penalties than points in that first half.”
Though the Pioneers controlled the early tempo, their only first-half touchdown came on a 16-yard pass from Jamaal Martin to Ladarrell Mongkholtham after Eldorado fumbled the opening kick.
Pumphrey nailed a 30-yard field goal in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead, then exploded up the middle for a 91-yard touchdown to make it 16-0 early in the third quarter.
“That kid is phenomenal,” Cooper said of Pumphrey. “He has the potential to be the next Reggie Bush. He’s about 65 percent of our offense.”
But Cesar Urruitia, who rushed 13 times for 98 yards, scored on a 17-yard run midway through the third to ignite the Sundevils’ rally.
The fourth-quarter safety resulted in good field position for Canyon Springs, which expanded its lead to 26-13 when Pumphrey scored on a 3-yard run.
Stephen Revels dived into the end zone as time expired for the Pioneers’ final touchdown.
Howard completed 8 of 18 passes for 99 yards to help Canyon Springs.
Williams completed 7 of 24 passes for 232 yards to lead the Sundevils.
Arbor View 60, Cheyenne 58 — At Cheyenne, the No. 6 Aggies made a big stop on a 2-point conversion play during the fourth overtime to move closer to the first playoff berth in school history.
Arbor View (7-0, 5-0 Northwest) preserved its spotless record by bringing down Tyler Spight inches from the goal line on the conversion attempt by the Desert Shields (2-3, 1-3).
Spight was otherwise unstoppable, scoring six touchdowns (five rushing), running for 217 yards and scoring two 2-point conversions for a 40-point night.
Spight’s rushing TDs, all after halftime, went for 80, 18, 7, 1 and 1 yards. He also scored on a 15-yard pass from Bakari Smith in the third overtime.
Spight’s second touchdown gave the Desert Shields a six-point lead with 2:04 to play in regulation. But the Aggies answered in three plays, with Steve Burns running in from 5 yards. The blocked conversion kick sent the game into overtime.
Burns’ 1-yard TD run and Donnie Gaskin’s 2-point conversion run in the fourth overtime provided Arbor View’s decisive score.
Christian Rodriguez led the Aggies with 89 yards on 16 carries.
Riggin, 20 of 34 passes for 221 yards, was chased from the pocket to the left sideline on the decisive play. He lofted the ball to Waikus while falling out of bounds.
Silverado then drove 71 yards to the Foothill 5-yard line, but the Falcons stiffened, sacking Savon Moniz for a 21-yard loss on third down and taking over on downs with 1:22 to play.
Moniz threw a tying 63-yard pass to Ladale Jackson in the third quarter. Izaiah Thurmon led Silverado with 112 yards rushing on 18 carries.
Miles Killebrew, starting for injured running back Connor Afoa, led Foothill with 67 yards rushing, including a 1-yard TD on the opening drive. Killebrew also had 73 receiving yards.
Teu Tai had a 75-yard touchdown run with 49 seconds left in the third quarter to cut lead to 26-23. Niko Kapeli scored on runs of 3 and 20 yards in the fourth.
Kapeli rushed for 175 yards to lead Liberty, which gained 443 on the ground. Tai added 117 and Kai Nacua supplied 86 rushing and 119 passing.
Green Valley’s Paul McKay completed 17 of 34 passes for 347 yards.
He had four touchdown passes, but was intercepted four times. Joshua Lomax caught TD passes of 31 and 52 yards.
Sanders’ scoring passes went to Royce Finley (86 and 8 yards), Bryon Peeples (44) and Michael Langley (28). Peeples also ran for a 45-yard TD and Brian Brunson had a 44-yarder.
Rashad Richardson returned a kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown and Koami Attila scored on runs of 25 and 8 yards.
For Chaparral, C.J. Karlventz made a 21-yard TD catch and rushed for 97 yards on 16 carries. Antonio Thomas ran for 87 yards, including a 2-yard score.
Junior Chris Marshall rushed for 102 yards on 23 carries, including a 2-yard TD, as Del Sol outgained Coronado 313-262. Troy Miller threw scoring passes to Jason Meuir of 64 and 26 yards.
The Dragons recorded a first-quarter safety, sacking Nate Webb in the end zone, and scored on Dwayne Kirkland’s 70-yard kickoff return and Marshall’s 43-yard punt return.
For Coronado, Webb scored on a 22-yard run and a 2-yard pass to Cody Mucino.
Wright scored on runs of 50, 33, 28, and 5 yards and finished with 189 yards on 16 carries. Jonathan Maxwell added 70 yards, including a 20-yard TD.
Palo Verde’s defense held Shadow Ridge to 70 yards. Joshua Symonette had two sacks and Doug Stultz one.
Garrett Dunlap kicked a 20-yard FG in the third quarter and converted six extra points for the Panthers. Garrett Rost added a 25-yard rushing TD.
Nick McDearmon threw a 30-yard TD pass to Zach Ducksworth with 8:16 remaining for Shadow Ridge’s only score.
Durango senior Chase Roberts completed 8 of 10 passes for 144 yards, highlighted by a 92-yard hook-up with Donovan Smith in the fourth quarter.
Smith also ran for a 35-yard touchdown, and Antonio Nieves had a 32-yarder.
Durango’s defense limited the Mountain Lions to 152 total yards. Gene Germaine ran for a 22-yard scor,e and Latwoyn Pate supplied a 13-yarder.
Portaro passed for 259 yards on 15-for-30 and ran for 105 yards on 12 carries, including a 19-yard TD. He threw scoring passes of 52 yards to Brad Pearson and 26 to Justin Dannan, and also kicked a 38-yard field goal.
Pearson also scored on a 35-yard fumble return.
Mojave running back Bryant Lewis had 97 total yards.
Jarrett Solomon’s scoring pass to Sweet was the first of six first-half touchdowns. Solomon finished 13 of 19 for 250 yards and also had second-quarter TDs of 47 yards to Ryan Smith, 26 yards to Jamir Tillman and 6 yards to Evan Zeger.
The Gaels compiled 200 rushing yard to finish with 450 total yards.
Sweet led all rushers with 111 yards on eight carries. Jordan Welte added 56 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown to cap the scoring.
Backup quarterback Makoa Tyndall threw a 4-yard TD to Joshua Hawks.
Powe’s touchdowns were 6 and 10 yards. Cameron Rogers opened the scoring with a 65-yard run and finished with 118 total yards. Hasaan Henderson was 5 of 12 passing for 90 yards and two TDs, and had another 37 yards on three rushes.
Marquan Major caught a 30-yard TD pass from Henderson and ran for a 21-yard score. Michael Glenn ran 63 yards for a fourth-quarter TD.
Tyree Mays scored on a 10-yard run for Sunrise Mountain in the fourth. Damon Burton rushed for 43 yards on 18 carries and Chris Moore completed 5 of 8 passes for 61 yards.
Ireland scored on runs of 3 and 32 yards in the first half and extended Legacy’s lead to 20-6 after breaking an 80-yard TD run in the third quarter.
Basic answered when Eddie Vega found Darien Spencer for a 17-yard TD, then Kevin Aviles kicked his third field goal to cut the lead to five.
Alonzo Fuller scored on a 39-yard TD pass from Jordan Pinkney to put the Longhorns up by two scores with five minutes to play.
The Wolves’ Benito Gutierrez scored on a 4-yard run on the ensuing possession, but Basic was unable to drive for a tying score after getting the ball back with 1:12 to play.
Vega completed 16 of 25 passes for 221 yards and Darien Spencer had nine catches for 131 yards for Basic.
On fourth-and-3 with 25.6 seconds to play, Kelan Weiss hit Casen Lewis for 20 yards on a slant pattern to help Moapa Valley seal the win.
Clark nearly erased a 36-20 fourth-quarter deficit with Greg McKinney’s 36-yard run and his 60-yard pass to Marquise McKinney. But after blocking a punt to take over at the Pirates 38-yard line with 3:47 to play, the Chargers were unable to pick up a first down.
Weiss passed for 190 yards and two scores for the Pirates, who overcame four turnovers. He connected with Hayden Cooper eight times for 98 yards, including TDs of 11 and 4.
Chris Jackson carried 15 times for 91 yards and a TD for Clark. Greg McKinney passed for 93 yards, including TDs of 10 and 60 yards to Marquise McKinney, and rushed for 61 yards and two scores.
Urias scored on a 16-yard run in the first quarter and threw TD passes of 28 and 42 yards to Daniel Gleave. Dee Bowler added a 28-yard TD run.
Urias ran for 52 yards, and completed 5 of 11 passes for 96 yards. Bowler ran for 62 yards.
For Boulder City, senior Joe Woodbury rushed for 44 yards.
Agassi Prep 48, Lincoln County 0 — At Rancho, DeVonn Porter ran for touchdowns of 6, 10 and 20 yards in the second quarter, and Agassi Prep (4-1, 4-0 2A Southern) clinched a playoff berth by beating the Lynx (1-5, 0-4).
The Stars will face The Meadows next week for first place in the 2A Southern League.
Derreon Whitesides added touchdowns on a 57-yard pass from Terrell Kemp and an 80-yard fumble return in the third quarter.
The Stars had a 30-0 halftime lead on their way to their third shutout.
Gosse completed 23 of 37 attempts and threw two touchdowns each to Taylor Beck, Austin Brown and Max Newman.
The Meadows pulled away from a 22-15 halftime lead, with Gosse throwing a 10-yard TD to Beck, a 67-yarder to Brown and a 7-yarder to Beck.
Chase Marrs added a 7-yard touchdown run for The Meadows.
Needles’ Daric Courtwright ran for touchdowns of 11, 2 and 20 yards.
Tonopah 58, Round Mountain 25 — At Tonopah, Cedric Kirby piled up 283 yards and four touchdowns to guide the Muckers (4-2, 1-1 1A Southern) past the Knights (2-4, 0-3).
Kirby’s scoring runs went for 10, 13, 49 and 8 yards. David McGraw supplied 104 yards on the ground, including TDs of 24 and 56 yards, and also caught a 25-yard scoring pass from Seth Littlefield.
Tonopah gained 403 yards rushing, and Littlefield added 99 on 6-of-7 passing. Spencer Littlefield added a 22-yard TD pass to Derek Otero.
Sergio Chavez led Round Mountain with 119 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, and also kicked a 26-yard field goal.
Pahranagat Valley 68, Beatty 0 — At Alamo, the Panthers (6-0, 2-0 1A Southern) jumped to a 48-0 halftime lead and rolled past the Hornets (3-2, 1-2).
Pahranagat Valley quarterback Cody Hosier completed 4 of 5 passes for 65 yards, including touchdown strikes of 13 and 35 yards to Kale Leavitt in the first quarter, and rushed for 53 yards and two scores on six attempts.
Chase Hansen scored on runs of 5 and 7 yards and on a 38-yard punt return in the second quarter for the Panthers. Teammate Tyler Higbee scored on a 14-yard pass from Austin Poulsen and a 5-yard run in the second half.
Anthony Turner led Beatty with 55 yards passing and 30 rushing.
White Pine 60, Laughlin 0 — At Ely, Devante Valencia returned two punts for touchdowns and rushed for another to help the Bobcats (2-4, 2-2 2A Southern) defeat the Cougars (2-4, 0-3).
Joshua Ashby threw two touchdown passes for White Pine.