Field Goal Contest Returns As Halftime Feature

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The halftime promotion that provided plenty of fun at the Longhorns' Aug. 29 football game against Cortez will be repeated at each home contest this season.

According to local sports booster Cheryl Askins, the event -- which is sponsored by five local NAPA Autocare centers -- is intended to build spectator interest, promote attendance and fund a scholarship program at Payson High School.

For those who missed the game against Cortez, here's how the promotion works.

When entering the PHS stadium, fans have the opportunity to purchase $1 raffle tickets. The winner of the raffle drawing, which is held during second quarter play, is allowed to try a field-goal kick from an unspecified distance.

Also at halftime, 10 miniature footballs are thrown into the stands. The person who catches the ball with the NAPA Autocare signatures earns the right to attempt a field-goal kick.

At halftime, the lucky contestants will be called onto the field to attempt one kick. The winning kick is worth $1,000; $500 to the winner, and $500 to the NAPA scholarship fund at PHS.

Those who miss their kick will receive a $25 NAPA Autocare center gift certificate.

One of the lucky kickers at the Cortez game was Penny Degroot. She's the mother of Longhorn lineman and field-goal specialist Nick Degroot. Penny missed her kick and Nick had a late game field-goal attempt hit the cross bar and fall back onto the playing field.

Event sponsors include Precision Radiator and Automotive, Strawberry Auto Service, Payson Driveline and Auto Service, Wick's Auto Service and Barcom Parts and Equipment.

Former Mav makes game-saving stop

Only a few years ago, Pete Hargis was a promising young football player on the Rim Country Middle School Maverick team. Before attending RCMS, he starred on Payson Youth Football Association teams.

Today, Hargis is a starting defensive back for the Class 5A No. 6 ranked Tempe Desert Vista football squad. In DV's19-18 win over Mesa Westwood Friday evening, Hargis made the play of the game when he tackled a Westwood receiver just as he was attempting to reach the end zone on a last second two-point conversion try. Had the Westwood player scored, DV would have lost by a point.

Hargis, now a junior at DVHS, left Payson for Tempe during his freshman year. His move was Payson's loss. By all accounts, he would have been a solid addition to this year's PHS team.

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