Stephen Sylvanie / Special to the Sun
Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009 | 12:03 a.m.
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That kick return set the tempo for a second half that saw the Pioneers explode for 29 points in coach Hunkie Cooper’s debut at Canyon Springs , a 42-21 win over Green Valley.
“The kickoff got our minds back into the game,” Rimmey said. “In the first half, we came in too cocky and after that we were down to earth.”
The senior didn’t stop there, producing two long touchdowns of 42 and 54 yards, the latter icing Green Valley late as Rimmey ran over the only Gators defender left to beat before sprinting untouched 30 yards out for the touchdown.
He finished with 222 yards and two scores on 17 carries.
The game started ugly for both teams with a flurry of turnovers, the most crucial of those going against Green Valley.
Trailing by a touchdown midway through the second quarter in a first-and-goal situation, sophomore Aaron Love lost control of the ball, and Canyon Springs recovered in the end zone.
“You can’t turn the ball over the way we did,” Green Valley coach Matt Gerber said. “We literally gave them 21 points and there’s the game. Obviously, we weren’t prepared enough.”
The fumble was one of four first-half turnovers for the Gators. Two resulted in scores by the Pioneers, as quarterback Tyler Ward connected for two first-half touchdowns of nine and 22 yards to Leo Wills and Trey Evans, respectively.
Cooper, a former UNLV All-American wide receiver, was pleased with his team’s performance but cautioned more work needs to be done to assure sloppy football doesn’t become a regular occurrence.
“I’m glad we won,” he said. “But we have a lot of work to do; there’s no doubt about it. There is a lot of room for improvement here.”
The Pioneers fumbled three times in the first half, losing the ball twice. “Our defense kept us in the game early,” Cooper said. “I can’t say enough about those guys.”
Down 13-0 at the half, Green Valley tried to mount a comeback courtesy of Love, who scored two rushing touchdowns just two minutes apart early in the third quarter.
Love tallied 144 yards and carried the workload for the Gators with senior running back Treveece Jackson being limited because of an injury.
“We know we have a good team,” Gerber said. “We made some young mistakes tonight and those we’ll have to fix.”