Stevenson returns from injury to put hurt on Desert Shields

Zaviontay Stevenson was nursing some minor injuries when he sat out Canyon Springs’ first offensive series Friday.

He did not appear injured when he entered the game midway through the first quarter.

Stevenson rushed 11 times for 165 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Pioneers to a 28-13 home victory over Cheyenne.

The Desert Shields appeared strong early, with Zavieh Harrell’s 76-yard run setting up a 2-yard David Walker touchdown plunge to make it 7-0.

“This was our first week out,” said Canyon Springs coach Hunkie Cooper. “The kids came out with a lot of emotion, and they had to overcome that. They did because execution beats emotion every time.”

The Pioneers (1-0) got right back in the game with Stevenson’s 48-yard scoring sprint that tied it at 7 just 52 seconds later.

“Zaviontay was a little banged up tonight, so he didn’t start,” Cooper said. “But that kid is amazing.”

Stevenson tacked on a TD run of 33 yards in the second quarter, and increased the Pioneers’ lead to 21-7 with a 58-yard run up the middle in the third.

Canyon Springs capitalized on one of several Cheyenne mistakes when Greg Banks returned a fumble for a 91-yard TD to seal the win late in the third.

“We were consistent tonight, and we ran the football well,” said Cooper, whose squad also forced four turnovers. “I always say that five or six plays decide the outcome of a game, and that’s what it was tonight.”

Bradley Alexander completed 7 of 17 passes to help the Pioneers.

Zavieh Harrell ran for 145 yards on 10 carries to lead the Desert Shields (0-2), and he added a late touchdown on a 10-yard pass from Matthew LaBonte.

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