8-2 Record Won't Assure Horns Of State

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Could the Longhorn football team wrap up the season with an impressive 8-2 record and not be awarded a berth into the Class 4A state tournament?

That's a burning question that won't be answered until the Horns' regular season wraps up Nov. 7 at Flagstaff Sinagua.

If the season were to end today, the Longhorns (6-2) would not be in the state tournament.

In the 4A conference, power point rankings are used to seed 16 teams into the state tournament. Teams receive power points based on victories and strength of schedule.

Currently, the Longhorns have compiled 51.88 points and are ranked 18th -- two slots out of the playoff picture.

In the final two weeks of the season, the Horns must find a way to rack up enough points to surge past Bradshaw Mountain (17th; 52.50), Mingus (16th; 53:13), Millennium (15th; 54:44) and into the state playoff bracket.

Whether wins over Page this evening (Friday) and Sinagua will generate enough points to over take those ahead of Payson in the rankings is unclear.

Neither the Dust Devils nor the Mustangs are particularly strong teams and victories against them won't earn Payson the points a triumph against a 4A top-25 team would be worth.

The only top-25 teams the Longhorns have beaten this season are Pinnacle (20th) and Flagstaff (23rd).

Longhorn assistant coach Mike Loutzenheiser said it would be an injustice if an 8-2 team didn't go to state, but said that could happen.

The best the Longhorns can hope for is to win the remaining games and hope teams currently ranked in front of them stumble.

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