Thursday, Aug. 28, 2008 | 10:50 p.m.
Marcus Sullivan ran for three touchdowns and caught two more scores, but other stars still were able to shine for host Cheyenne during its 50-6 victory over Sierra Vista in Thursday’s season-opening Hall of Fame Game.
Sullivan caught two touchdown passes for 122 yards and ran 13 times for 90 yards for a Desert Shields squad that rolled up 321 yards rushing and 123 yards passing.
Sullivan opened the game’s scoring with a 33-yard reception of a Chris Spencer pass eight minutes, 43 seconds into the first quarter. In the second quarter, he ran for a 39-yard touchdown and caught an 89-yard touchdown strike from Kaeo Helekahi.
In between Sullivan’s two second-quarter touchdowns, Jordan Butler tallied the Desert Shields’ third touchdown of the game with a 62-yard punt return.
Butler was the only Cheyenne player besides Sullivan to score during the first half; however, when the Desert Shields took a 30-0 lead, Donnel Thompson started out with two carries for 29 yards on the first drive of the game and finished strong on Cheyenne’s last drive, with three carries for 41 yards. Thompson finished with six carries for 95 yards while Terence Brison had 91 yards on 14 carries. Brison scored the game’s final touchdown on a two-yard run that followed two rushing touchdowns for Sullivan in the second half.
“Everyone just works for each other,” Brison said. “It doesn’t matter to us whether or not someone gets a lot of TDs. All that matters is the win at the end of the game.”
“He (Sullivan) is the one who finished off plays, but we had a lot of guys who ran hard,” Cheyenne head coach Charles Anthony said. “He had one of those days and scored five times, and good for him.”
After Sullivan scored on a 4-yard run with 11 minutes, nine seconds left in the fourth quarter, Cheyenne owned a 44-0 lead. Then, on the next drive, Sierra Vista got on the scoreboard when Akil Sharp tallied on a 1-yard touchdown run with four minutes, 54 seconds remaining in the game. The drive was highlighted by Darian Yahyavi’s 23-yard reception of a Jeremy Green pass.
“Our quarterback (Green) made a great play and No. 4 (Yahyavi) made a great catch,” Sierra Vista head coach Mark Sauve said. “As much heat as Jeremy was taking (earlier from the Cheyenne defense), he still hung in there and made a great play.
“We did not quit; we played hard. We pushed as hard as we could, and that’s a positive. They (the Desert Shields) are just a damned good football team. They just came out and plowed us. We got stuffed on the line and had trouble breaking through.”
Sharp highlighted the Mountain Lions’ offensive effort with 66 yards on 19 carries, but he gained a good portion of that yardage in the first quarter with 26 yards on three carries. He racked up 36 yards on the Mountain Lions’ scoring drive in the fourth quarter, but that occurred when most of the Desert Shields’ defensive starters were removed from the game.
“We pride ourselves on trying to play physical,” Anthony said. “You have to be physical in our conference. Our conference games every week are like that.
“I thought that our conditioning was good. I thought we were in pretty good shape. We got tired, but we weren’t tired enough to make plays and function. That was what was most important.”