In Central Arizona Youth Football Association season-openers, played at Prescott's Pioneer Park Sept. 10, the Payson Buccaneers thumped the Prescott Grizzlies 20-0, the Minor Cardinals whipped the Cougars 14-8 and the Major Cardinals tied the Cottonwood Lions 14-14.
In the Major Cardinals dead-knot, Cottonwood opened, scoring on a nine-yard run in the first quarter but failing on the extra point conversion, Payson coach Don Engler said.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Cardinals marched the length of the field and ultimately scored on a 20-yard romp by Tyler Williams.
Payson also missed its conversion attempt as the first half ended in a 6-6 tie.
In third quarter action, Cottonwood tallied both a touchdown and two-point conversion to take a 14-6 lead.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Cardinals put together their second scoring drive of the game behind the strong blocking of center Don Engler, guard Shane Brown and running back Mark McRae. The drive ended on a 17-yard run by quarterback James Gibson. The successful two-point conversion tied the game at 14-14. Coaches cited James Gibson for his outstanding defensive play.
In the Minor Cardinals' victory, Billy Herring scored both Payson touchdowns.
In the Buccaneers victory, Bob Nielsen starred both offensively and defensively, throwing a 20-yard touchdown pass to David Herring and returning an interception 50 yards to the five-yard line, coaches said.
Joe Blackburn and Matt Levac also scored for the Bucs.