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September 21, 2014

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Long touchdowns from Chris Marshall carry Del Sol to victory

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Del Sol High’s Chris Marshall returns a kickoff for a touchdown against Canyon Springs in this file photo.

Del Sol at Canyon Springs

Del Sol's Keith Hill cools down on the sideline during the game against Canyon Springs Thursday. Del Sol won 31-16. Launch slideshow »
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Previewing another week of gridiron action

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Las Vegas Sun reporters Case Keefer and Ray Brewer break down the first week of high school football games and look ahead to this Friday's gridiron action.

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Chris Marshall isn't your prototypical Del Sol High running back

But don't let his 5-foot-7, 160-pound frame be deceiving.

After his performance Thursday night in a 31-16 victory against Canyon Springs, he appears to be in line to be the next great Dragon rusher, following the likes of Dezerick Reed and Derek Eamon.

But Reed and Eamon were physical backs that thrived running between the tackles and gaining yards after contact. The compact Marshall excels in the open field, cutting to make tacklers miss and winning a footrace to the end zone.

Take Thursday night, for example.

Marshall rushed for 142 yards on 15 carries, blowing the game open with a 60-yard touchdown run on the last play of the third quarter against host Canyon Springs.

Marshall’s night also included returning the opening kickoff of the second half 89 yards for a touchdown, and a 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

Reed rushed for 1,942 yards and 20 touchdowns last year in leading Del Sol to the Sunrise Regional title and being named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year. Two years ago, Eamon rushed for 1,778 yards and 24 touchdowns as the Dragons’ feature back.

Now, it’s Marshall turn — well, with a little help from Reed. Marshall partially credits a phone call this week from Reed for his efforts against Canyon Springs.

Del Sol (1-1) was held scoreless in the second half last Friday in blowing a two-touchdown lead against Durango. Reed’s message to Marshall in the aftermath of the loss was simple — remain positive.

“He told me to follow my blockers and just run,” Marshall said. “I have to thank my line and my fullback. They did all the work. I told them the better they block, the quicker they get off the field.”

Del Sol rushed for more than 250 yards, limiting the offensive opportunities for Canyon Springs in controlling the clock for virtually the entire game.

Still, Del Sol only led 11-8 at halftime.

“It sure felt like we had the ball 20 of the 24 minutes in the first half, and we still only had a three-point lead,” Goroff said.

Marshall’s two touchdowns highlighted a strong second half for Del Sol, and quarterback Troy Miller closed the game with a 39-yard touchdown pass to Jason Meuir with 8:03 to play.

It was a perfect ending to a rough night for Miller, who threw three interceptions. James Jones returned one of the interceptions 51 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter to cut the Del Sol lead to 11-8.

Canyon Springs’ Malik Brown followed Marshall’s kickoff return with a 90-yard touchdown run to keep the Pioneers close, but ultimately dropped passes and other miscues plagued the North Las Vegas school in its season opener.

“We turned the ball over too much and got ourselves into an early hole,” Canyon Springs coach Hunkie Cooper said. “You can’t do that against a team like Del Sol and expect to win. They have plenty of ways to beat you. They don’t need your help.”

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