It looked like the eighth-grade Mavericks football team might have finally found a competitor. That was in the first half. Second-half action, however, served as a lesson to Show Low why Payson is quickly gaining a reputation as bruisers.
The Mavs humiliated Show Low with a final score of 48-0.
"We came out a little slow in the first half and fumbled the ball a few times," coach Scott Crabdree said.
In fact, the end of the first half of play saw a score of 8-0 which, despite Payson being the only one to score, was the closest score the Mavs have seen in one half of play so far this year.
The second half was a completely different scene with Payson showing a determination that etched intimidation across the faces of their Show Low opponents.
Once again, the youth football league is credited with teaching the basic skills and techniques that have led to such a stellar season this year for the middle school and high school.
"The Payson Youth Football teaches these kids to hit, so that by the time they get up here, they're not afraid to hit," Crabdree said. "We put some hits on kids today that I don't think they'll get hit like that until they're seniors in high school."
He said many of the players on opposing teams which Payson has faced this year just aren't used to the level of intensity Payson views as commonplace, even in their practices.
"We go out there the first few plays and knock 'em and they're a little leery for the rest of the game," he said.
The players echo the same sentiment. When asked what he likes most about playing football, Shane Hounshell who plays right linebacker and right tackle said, "I just like tackling people."
Halfback and safety Andy Sargeant said Show Low was the toughest team he had seen so far this year.
Payson's next game is on the road in Round Valley. Crabdree sad maintaining their present focus is important.
"We just want to go up there and play a clean game, keep our goal in tact of not allowing anyone to score on us," he said.