Sporting a 13-2-1 record (5-1 in the region), the Longhorn boys soccer team is almost a lock to earn a berth in the state tournament when it begins Nov. 1 in Tucson.
About the only way the team could be denied a state seed would be for it to suffer a total collapse the remainder of the season.
Based on the way the team has played since the campaign opened Sept. 6, a meltdown is not about to happen.
In the team's most recent outing, Oct. 9 in Holbrook, the Longhorns thoroughly dominated the Roadrunners 9-3.
According to coach Roger Wholly, the key to the victory was the Longhorns' ability to break down the Roadrunner defense.
Payson got on the score board in the 11th minute of the game when Travis Sanders scored off an assist from Danny Wing. Minutes later, Ryan Fanizza scored on a 30-yard shot to up the Payson lead to 2-0. Later in the first half, Trevor LaHaye's long-distance shot slipped past the Holbrook goalie to give the Horns a 3-0 cushion.
At halftime, Payson led 6-1.
In the second half, two goals off the toe of Michael Orozco and another from stopper Kyle Hubbard on a penalty kick closed out the Longhorn scoring.
The Roadrunners scored back-to-back goals against a Payson defense that, Wholly said, "was caught sleeping."
In junior varsity action in Holbrook, Payson ran away with a 12-2 victory. The win was the Horn's third this season by that 10-goal margin.
Coach Kim Wholly cited Michael Fanizza, Derek Wimpee, Cody Stewart, Harley Taylor, Long Hopkins, Martin Dorris, Brett Hollobaugh and Eric Monty for their offensive contributions to the victory.
The varsity continues its quest to nail down a postseason berth tomorrow at 4 p.m. (Wednesday) at Rumsey Park against Round Valley.
The game will be preceded at 2 p.m. by a jayvee clash.