Canyon football flourishes in first win of the season

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Something unusual happened when Canyon football visited John Burroughs High School on Friday in the 50-21 rout of the Indians at John Burroughs High School.

With just under three minutes left in the game, quarterback Aydyn Litz lined up behind the center, on the Indians’ 1-yard line and kept the ball for a quarterback sneak for the touchdown.

As the Cowboys (1-1) were lining up to take the PAT, the stadium lights at John Burroughs went out and the field went dark.

“I was thinking maybe they did it because they wanted to go home and that’s always a compliment, but they came back and got the kickoff return for a touchdown so we have to keep working,” said Cowboys’ head coach Rich Gutierrez.

From beginning to end, the Cowboys electrifying offense wore down the Indians’ (0-2) defense.

On the second play from scrimmage, the Cowboys caught the Indians napping as quarterback Aydyn Litz pitched the ball to former quarterback Shawn Gallagher who faked as if he was going to run, but stepped back and found a wide open Andrew Romero streaking down the right sideline for the 50-yard touchdown putting the Cowboys on the scoreboard first, 7-0.

Keeping the Indians off the scoreboard in the first quarter, the Cowboys defense were able get force an Indian safety. The Cowboys led 9-0 heading into the second quarter.

On the first play in the second quarter, the Cowboys’ coaching staff saw their opportunity and designed a play-action pass that freed up wide receiver Nico Shields for the 75-yard touchdown pass from Litz to give the Cowboys a 15-0 lead.

Shields finished the game with five receptions for 132 yards and one touchdown.

As if the Indians didn’t learn their lesson, on the next possession for the Cowboys, Litz found a wide-open Carson Strickland for a 60-yard touchdown with 1:45 left in the half.

To add insult to injury, the Cowboys were able to get the ball back with under a minute left and found paydirt again as Litz found James Mendibles for a 10-yard touchdown pass.

Litz finished the game throwing for 241 yards and three touchdowns on 13-23 pass attempts and ran for a touchdown and an interception.

“I felt good about myself overall, but mostly it was the team,” Litz said. “We had a lot of good run plays driving us down the field and our line was opening the lanes up and blocking for me.”

Punishing the Indians defense in the air, as well as on the ground the Cowboys employed a running-back-by-committee with a mix of Jake Acquaviva, Ryan Valdes and Darrin Warren the trio combined for 216 yards on the ground and one touchdown.

“The line is really what setup the whole game,” Acquaviva said. “I basically cannot do anything but praise the line and I had to be benched to see how well they were blocking for me.”

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