Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 | 12:19 p.m.
Prep Sports Now returns from hibernation just in time for football season. Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer go through every league and discuss every team in town, giving predictions along and players to watch along the way.
Don’t expect the Cheyenne High football team to change its offensive philosophy after graduating an 1,800-yard running back from last season.
Myloe Lewis scored 31 touchdowns in 2012 to help the Desert Shields reach the Division I-A state semifinals. When Cheyenne opens the season Thursday against visiting Moapa Valley, look for Cheyenne to go back to its bread-and-butter of running the ball.
“That’s what we do,” Cheyenne coach David Cochran said of the run-first mentality. “We aren’t going to change our formula.”
Junior Jordan Johnson (6-foot, 190 pounds) and senior Demetrius Jones (5-foot-9, 175 pounds) each received a handful of carries last season and will be counted on to lead the ground attack.
Like Lewis, they have the speed to be difference-makers, especially in the open field. Last year, they combined to carry the ball 33 times for 232 yards and three touchdowns.
“If you know anything about Cheyenne, we always have guys who can run up and down the field,” Cochran said. “Our problem is trying to find guys up front to block. Myloe was a great talent, and he’ll be tough to replace, but he wouldn’t have ran for that many yards without the guys up front.”
Terry Dodd IV (6-foot-4, 290 pounds) was a second-team all-league selection in 2012 and will anchor the line on both sides of the ball. He’ll be joined up front by returning starter Joe Rose.
Defensively, Martel Evans in the secondary is one of Cheyenne’s top overall players, and Deonte Perkins will see action at wide receiver and defensive back.
Cheyenne will have its hands full defending its Sunrise title from last season. In addition to having to make over most of the roster, Cochran knows his team will always get the best of the opposition each Friday night because they are one of the teams to beat.
That should make for an interesting season considering Cheyenne will give seven sophomores significant playing time.
“We won the league last year, so everyone will be out to beat us,” Cochran said. “You know what? They’ll have the opportunity to (beat us) if they can take advantage of our youth and inexperience.”
Cheyenne will be tested immediately against Moapa Valley, which has played in eight of the last nine state championship games. It’s a game everyone wanted to see last year — Lewis-led Cheyenne against the perennial power from Overton.
“You have to give credit to that coaching staff (at Moapa Valley),” Cochran said. “Brent Lewis has been there for awhile and runs an established program. Look at the roster; they have brothers on top of brothers — they keep coming back with the same names.”
Cheyenne hopes to duplicate Moapa Valley’s success and also make a return appearance to state. It gave eventual state champion Truckee everything it could handle in the state semifinals last season before losing, 28-16. Truckee scored 13 unanswered points to close the game.
“Losing that game is big motivation for us at Cheyenne,” Dodd said. “We think about it every day to get better and to grind harder.”