Las Vegas Sun

October 16, 2019

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Canyon Springs gains confidence despite loss in California

2016 High School Football

Christopher DeVargas

Members of the Canyon Springs High football team pose for a photo at the Las Vegas Sun’s high school football media day July 20, 2016 at the South Point. They include, from left, Lord Oroke, Diamante Burton, Lazarus D. Kyle Jr., and Tyrese Ross.

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Las Vegas Sun sports editors Ray Brewer and Case Keefer discuss Liberty's momentous win over the top-ranked team in Texas, and give an ode to all the other great games high school football has produced so far.

Bishop Gorman and Liberty have leapt into the national rankings by challenging themselves with out-of-state opponents.

First year Canyon Springs coach Gus McNair has the same plan for his Pioneers, and the program took the first step Friday night by hanging with Clayton Valley of California for three quarters.

The Pioneers led 7-0 after one quarter and trailed only 14-7 at halftime before eventually falling 35-7.

“I was very impressed,” McNair said. “We left the field feeling very good and holding our heads up high.”

Quarterback Diamante Burton started off the scoring with a 50-yard touchdown on a designed quarterback run in the first quarter.

Burton once again led the Pioneers in passing and rushing, throwing for 119 yards and running for 102.

Canyon Springs won its first two games on the back of a strong defense, and the Pioneers once again leaned on that group Friday night.

Canyon Springs defenders stymied Clayton Valley early on but eventually tired in the fourth quarter.

“The Clayton Valley coach was impressed with how we matched them physically,” McNair said. “But depth just started to play a part in the end. They have 78 players and we only have like 35 or 36 guys.”

Despite the loss, McNair believes the program is heading in the right direction.

“We are changing the culture and that’s the biggest thing,” McNair said. “We earned some respect out here in California tonight.”

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