Thanks to a solid defensive showing, the Tuba City Warriors were on the receiving end of a rear-end kicking Friday night in Longhorn stadium.
In the Longhorns 66-0 win, defensive coordinator Jimbo Armstrong's bandits held the Warriors to 36 yards passing and a minus 14-yards rushing.
The defense, led by Klayton Haught, Layton Howell and Mike Barr, laid the wood to outmanned Tuba City all evening. That effort allowed Payson to sleepwalk to a second consecutive lopsided victory and improve their record to 4-0.
Last week, the Horns whipped Holbrook 67-6.
Barr, playing defensive end, ran back two fumbles for touchdowns and recorded a safety.
Haught was a thorn in the Warriors side all evening, chalking up a team-leading seven tackles. When Haught or Barr wasn't dragging Tuba City ball carriers to the ground, Howell was usually there to mop up. Officially, Howell was credited with six tackles.
When the defense left the field and the offense took over, a touchdown usually resulted. In the first quarter, Payson built a 19-0 lead before expanding it to 32-0 at halftime. In the third quarter, the Horns tacked on another 34 points, to turn the showdown into a blowout.
At one point late into the game, the Horn coaching staff began inserting linemen into the backfield to give other players a chance to tote the pigskin. Lineman George Coleman, John Snively, Adam Munson and James Huddleston were all called upon at least once.
The Horns averaged 7.7 yards per play and finished with 355 yards in total offense.
The ease with which the Longhorns have won their last two games could easily change Oct. 4, when the unbeaten Snowflake Lobos play host to the Longhorns. The crucial East clash will play a huge role in determining the regional champions.
Both teams will enter the game unbeaten and state ranked. In most polls, Snowflake is rated second and the Longhorns third.
Since top-ranked Blue Ridge was beaten 14-0 by Winslow last Friday, that could all change when the new polls are released today (Tuesday).
The Horns and the Lobos are expected to take over the one-two rankings in the polls.
Kick off in Snowflake is 7 p.m. Freshman and jayvee teams from both schools will clash Oct. 3 in Payson. Game time is 4:30 p.m. (freshmen) and 6:30 p.m. (jayvee).