Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 | 12:18 a.m.
The Canyon Springs football team challenged itself with a tough matchup to open the season, traveling to Utah to face state champion Orem.
The Pioneers will return to Las Vegas battered after a 41-14 blowout loss, but feel the trip will prepare them for league play.
“It’s obviously not how we wanted to start, but you’re opening up against a state champion, so you use it as a measuring stick,” Canyon Springs coach Gus McNair said. “The last two years we’ve only lost two games in state each season.”
McNair has scheduled aggressively at Canyon Springs to make his teams battle-tested heading into conference play. This season is no different, but new players are playing vital roles after the team lost much of its production from a year ago.
New quarterback Xavier DeLong, who transferred to Canyon Springs after helping Mojave to an appearance in the 3A state title game last year, threw a 60-yard touchdown to sophomore wide receiver Javeion Davison.
“He stepped right in and did an excellent job at quarterback,” McNair said. “He does a great job of just extending plays. Leadership wise, he’s really about the team being successful. He’s starting to take over and put guys into position.”
It was a lone bright spot for an otherwise unsuccessful trip out of state.
The Pioneers will be back in Las Vegas to host Green Valley next Friday.