Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009 | midnight
Cheyenne’s Xavian Johnson returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown on the game’s final play Friday to give the Desert Shields a dramatic 16-10 victory against visiting Shadow Ridge.
Johnson avoided being tackled by Shadow Ridge’s kicker around midfield and outraced the defense for the decisive touchdown.
“Once he passed the first level (of tacklers) I just put my hands in the air,” Cheyenne coach Perryn Hale said. “I knew he had it.”
Johnson’s heroics gave Cheyenne (1-2) its first win of the season after losing by lopsided scores in its first two games.
“It is very relieving to get that first win, especially being at a school like this with a tradition we have,” Hale said. “The kids weren’t used to the losing ways.”
Jordan Butler led Cheyenne with 128 rushing yards, including a 52-yard touchdown run.
Cheyenne has played in the last two Sunset Regional semifinals, but is in a rebuilding mode this fall with several inexperienced players. It is also Hale’s first year as coach.
“We went back to some of the things the kids were comfortable with,” Hale said. “We told the kids this was the start of season No. 2.”
Shadow Ridge fell to 0-2.