Canyon Springs-Basic ends in massive brawl, cloud of pepper spray


L.E. Baskow

Basic and Canyon Springs players and coaches come to blows on the field as police move in with pepper spray following their game on Friday, September 15, 2017.

Fri, Sep 15, 2017 (11:59 p.m.)

The game between Canyon Springs and Basic Friday night ended with Pioneers’ coach Gus McNair sitting on the field holding his crying child, as staff members flushed McNair's eyes with water from Gatorade bottles.

Players from both teams scrambled in opposite directions, screaming in pain and clutching their eyes.

The scene at Basic High School was ugly, as the game ended with a massive brawl near midfield involving players and coaches engulfed in a cloud of yellow pepper spray from Clark County School District Police.

Canyon Springs won 20-15 in a game that had nearly 300 yards in penalties and multiple player ejections.

Tempers were flaring throughout with players constantly pushed and shoved after the whistle.

Basic quarterback Paul Myro completed a pass to Daniel Paonessa as time expired. As Paonessa desperately fought off tacklers, he was stripped of the ball, and a Canyon Springs defender picked it up and began running along the sideline.

After he was tackled out of bounds, coaches from Canyon Springs rushed onto the field and the fight ensued.

Players and coaches from both sides threw punches, swung helmets and dog piled on the field. School police eventually ended the fight by shooting pepper spray.

When the sides were separated, players on both teams were tended to by staff as they screamed in pain, eyes burning. Those affected included McNair’s young son who was helping the team on the sidelines.

The game was sloppy, with both teams committing multiple personal fouls. Canyon Springs had four players ejected, including quarterback Diamante Burton, who had 127 total yards and a touchdown pass before the expulsion.

The Pioneers defense carried the team to the win, forcing five turnovers, including four interceptions off Myro.

Senior safety Johnathan Bailey had two interceptions, including one in the fourth quarter that he returned 30 yards for the eventual game-winning touchdown.

School police said no arrests were made over the clash, and Henderson Police were called to assist with crowd control as fans exited.

Jesse Granger can be reached at 702-259-8814 or [email protected]. Follow Jesse on Twitter at

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