Friday, September 25, 2009

Duhjuan Miller has two interceptions in Cheyenne win over Arbor View

By Anthony Fenech

Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009 | 12:01 a.m.

The tipped ball floated in the air, end over end, possibly holding Arbor View’s playoff hopes and certainly carrying the fate of a pivotal division game, when Cheyenne safety Duhjuan Miller leaped and caught it, seeing nothing but green grass and an end zone the other way.

“When I caught it, I knew,” Miller said. “I saw my blockers down the left side and I knew.”

Forty yards later, Miller was in the end zone, mobbed by his teammates. Cheyenne had the insurance it needed to escape Arbor View with a 25-13 win, thanks in most part to two deflections that ended up in the senior captain’s hands.

They occurred only a minute apart with just under four minutes to play and the score knotted at 13.

“We made a defensive adjustment late and put two safeties back there,” Cheyenne coach Perryn Hale said. “And it worked.”

Miller’s first interception ricocheted off a Desert Shields cornerback and on the very next offensive play, running back Jordan Butler cut through the Aggies defense for a 42-yard touchdown run to give Cheyenne the lead.

Butler finished with 200 yards on 25 carries, scoring twice.

Miller’s second interception came three plays into Arbor View’s ensuing possession, when quarterback Kyler Nielson’s pass went off the fingertips of running back Demon Scurry.

“I saw that the second one was six automatically,” said Hale. “I’ve seen Duhjuan make plays like that since his sophomore year.”

Desert Shields quarterback Kody Stahl, who plowed his way through the Aggies defense on a quarterback keeper to tie the game at 13 earlier in the quarter, said that after Miller’s first interception, he knew there would be another one.

“I called it,” he said. “I walked over to him on the sidelines and told him he was going to take another pick to the house, and the way it happened was like, I don’t know, déjà vu or something.”

Said Miller of the exchange on the sidelines: “He came over and said I was going to get another one and I just said, ‘Yeah I’m gonna get out there and get you another one.’”

Arbor View took the lead late in the third quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run from senior Thomas Flanagan but couldn’t hold on for the win, its losing streak sliding to three games.

Both senior quarterback Austin Anderson and junior running back Taylor Wooten missed the game, resulting in inexperience under center.

“We had all the cards stacked against us tonight,” coach Dan Barnson said. “Our quarterback had never started a game and then we went to a sophomore in the second half.”

“We battled and I can’t be disappointed with my kids.”

Cheyenne improves to 3-2 on the year and hosts Palo Verde next week.

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