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December 20, 2014

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high school football:

Canyon Springs wins to set up yet another playoff date with Liberty

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Canyon Springs running back Zaviontay Stevenson gets past Green Valley corner back Cody Milner during their game Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013. Green Valley won 44-43 on a last second field goal.

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Sunrising

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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer celebrate the start of the Sunrise Region playoffs with an all-encompassing look at the first round of games. Don't worry; they save time for discussion on Palo Verde vs. Arbor View and the Division 1-A quarterfinals

Sunrise Regional football champs

Which team do you think will win the Sunrise Regional high school football championship?
Liberty — 42.3%
Green Valley — 23.4%
Canyon Springs — 13.4%
Las Vegas — 13.2%
Basic — 2.9%
Other — 2.9%
Coronado — 1.9%

This poll is closed, see Full Results »

Note: This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

For the third time in four years, Canyon Springs has won its first-round playoff game.

And, as usual with the Pioneers, it was another close one. Canyon Springs held on to defend its home field and beat Coronado 12-7 Friday night.

Canyon Springs will face familiar playoff foe Liberty, which has knocked out the Pioneers in three of the last four years, next Friday.

“It’s been the same team over and over,” Canyon Springs coach Hunkie Cooper said. “They’re a great team, they’ve done great things, but it’s time we get through them. We’re up for the challenge. We don’t back down to anyone.”

The Pioneers became only the second team in the last two years to hold the Cougars below double-digits in scoring. Coronado scored a long reverse play to wide receiver Tanner Gorski in the second half, but were otherwise kept off of the board.

“We just weren’t that good offensively tonight, but defense is the spine of this team,” Cooper said. “They put in so much effort and time and it’s paying off.”

Junior running back Zaviontay Stevenson scored both of Canyon Springs’ touchdowns. The first came on a rush in the opening half.

Then, Stevenson returned the kickoff out of halftime 100 yards for a touchdown.

“I felt good,” Stevenson said on the Thursday Night Lights broadcast of the game. “I just saw a crease and hit it.”

Stevenson went on to say he feels his team is ready to take the next step and advance to the Sunrise Region Championship Game. It’s a place the Pioneers haven’t been in recent history, all because of Liberty.

“I’m not into moral victories,” Cooper said. “We’ve managed to make it this far by patching up our problems and keep going. I don’t think anything worse can happen to us, we’ve had a couple kids lose parents this season. Our team has shown resolve and a way to come through in times of struggle.”

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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