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Rebels go red with cannon-painting party

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Wade Vandervort

Rebel football players paint the Fremont Cannon at UNLV, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. The Rebels won the Fremont Cannon during a game against UNR on Saturday.

Rebels Paint Fremont Cannon

Rebel football player Malachi Miles paints the Fremont Cannon at UNLV, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. The Rebels won the Fremont Cannon during a game against UNR on Saturday. Launch slideshow »

The UNLV football season may not have ended with a trip to a bowl game, but thanks to Saturday’s comeback win over rival UNR, it did end with a celebration.

On Monday, as is tradition, the Rebels rolled the newly-won Fremont Cannon across campus and painted it red while being cheered on by UNLV students and fans.

Sophomore quarterback Armani Rogers, who led the rally against UNR by accounting for all five touchdowns, said he had a very simple game plan when it came time for him to grab a brush and start painting.

“I just dipped the paintbrush and swiped it everywhere I could,” Rogers said. “I tried to get as much blue off as I could.”

It was the first paint party thrown by UNLV since 2015, when the Rebels won the cannon by beating UNR in Reno during Tony Sanchez’s first year as head coach.

Sanchez lauded the team’s seniors for coming up big on Saturday and said experiencing the rivalry — and the spoils — will be a good thing for the program going forward.

“For our seniors, for them to have gone through the year, it’s so good for them to come out not just with a win, but a great comeback victory,” Sanchez said. “It’s a really good feeling because it’s such an important game to both communities. It’s great to have the cannon back in Vegas.”

Senior running back Lexington Thomas was on the 2015 team that last beat UNR, but said this was his first time with brush in hand.

“My freshman year I didn’t paint the cannon,” said Thomas, who will leave UNLV as the school’s all-time leader in touchdowns. “We let the seniors do it. This year I did it. It’s just a flick of the wrist.”

Mike Grimala can be reached at 702-948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Mike on Twitter at twitter.com/mikegrimala.

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