Eagles, Cards Advance To Cayfa Finals


The Rim country will be represented by a pair of Eastern division championship teams when the Central Arizona Youth Football Association finals are played Nov. 6 in Camp Verde.

Both the Payson Eagles and the Payson Minor Cardinals captured East crowns last week and will take on Western division crown bearers for CAYFA titles.

The Cardinals will play at 2:30 p.m. against the Prescott Bobcat's. The Eagles are slated for a 4 p.m. game against the Steelers.

"This is pretty awesome we have two champions going," CAYFA Payson President Eric Santana said.

As members of separate CAYFA divisions, the finalists did not play one another during regular season action.

The undefeated (8-0) Cardinals advanced to the association championship game by virtue of a 12-6 sudden-death victory over the 6-1 Cottonwood Seahawks Oct. 30 at Payson High School.

At the conclusion of regulation play, the two teams were dead-knotted 6-6. Payson's TD came in the fourth quarter on a one-yard run by Billy Herrin, coaches say.

After Cottonwood rallied to tie the score, the two squads went into overtime with the East crown at stake.

Cottonwood had their chances to score from inside the 10-yard line but a fourth down interception by Carter Connolly ended the threat.

During the ensuing possession by the Cardinals, Herrin scored the winning TD on a two-yard run.

The Eagles captured the East crown a tad easier than their younger Payson counterparts, downing the Cottonwood Chiefs 28-12.

Payson took an 8-6 lead at halftime, then clung to a narrow 14-12 cushion at the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth, the Eagle offense came alive to score two touchdowns and allow Payson to coast to the win.

Pete Hargis led the scoring parade with four touchdowns. Josh Blalock contributed a pair of two-point conversions.

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