Tie For Region Crown On The Horizon

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A dilemma could be brewing in the Class 3A Rim region boys' soccer standings.

The predicament centers around a possible scenario in which three teams, Show Low, Blue Ridge and Payson, wrap up the regular season tied for the region championship with 7-1 records.

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In an 8-1 win over Round Valley Oct. 16 at Rumsey Park, Longhorn Darryl LeSueur (4) chases a loose ball while teammate Josh Lammers (13) trails the play. The Longhorns play their final game of the season at 1 p.m. Oct. 26 at Rumsey Park against Holbrook.

"That very well could happen, in fact it's likely," PHS second-year coach Roger Wholly said.

All three of the teams are currently 6-1 and have one region game remaining in the campaign.

The league leaders are all favored to win those final contests.

If the anticipated tie occurs, Wholly is wondering "what does the AIA have planned for such an occurrence?"

Actually, it will probably be the region's athletic directors who will be making the decision based on AIA guidelines.

One possible solution could be to use the method that has solved ties in past years when football teams have been involved in just such situations.

It involves declaring a three-way dead knot for the region championship but seeding teams into state based on head-to-head meetings in the regular season.

If region athletic directors opt for that solution, Payson could end up taking the Rim's second seed to state.

That's because Payson has beaten Blue Ridge 4-0 but lost to Show Low 4-3.

An option Wholly would like to use is a "goals differential" method. It involves subtracting the goals allowed from the goals scored and using that number to seed the teams. Since Payson has been on an offensive and defensive roll this season, posting a 14-2-1 record, the Horns would have a good shot at a one-seed if that method is chosen.

Another option that Wholly says could be adopted is one based on penalty cards received.

"Character Counts is such a big thing. They (athletic directors) might use yellow cards to seed the teams," he said.

Whatever method is chosen, the Rim region will be well represented when the state tournament opens Nov. 1 at Tucson's Udall Park.

The Rim will send six of its nine teams to state. The other two 3A regions, Central and Desert, will send five teams, which will produce a 16-school tournament field.

Whip the Elks

In an 8-1 romp over Round Valley on Oct. 16 at Rumsey Park, the Longhorns had the opportunity to flex their collective region muscle.

Payson wasted little time in jumping on the Elks, scoring two goals in the first 10 minutes of play. Ryan Peters and Travis Sanders scored the goals.

Only five minutes later, Ryan Fanizza upped the count to 3-0 on an assist from Josh Lammers.

Later, Trevor LaHaye and Sanders tallied a goal each. Freshman Patrick Karlowski picked up an assist.

Early in the second half, Karlowski kept the Longhorn offense rolling, scoring on a direct kick from about 60 yards out. Also scoring for Payson were Daniel Wing and Darryl LeSueur.

In a junior varsity clash played prior to the varsity game, the Elks and Longhorns battled to a 1-1 tie.

"It was a very competitively fought match," Wholly said.

Michael Fanizza scored Payson's only goal in the second half.

Next up for the Longhorns is a showdown against the St. Johns Redskins slated for 6 p.m. today (Tuesday) in St. Johns.

The final regular season game is on the agenda for 1 p.m. Oct. 26 at Rumsey Park against the Holbrook Roadrunners.

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