Running classic Wing-T sweeps to the short side of the field and bootlegs to the wide side, the Longhorn junior varsity football team thoroughly demoralized Class 5A Sandra Day O'Connor's varsity 39-7.
Following the win Thursday evening on PHS field, coach Mike Loutzenheiser praised his jayvee players for their rock solid showing.
"The kids played great, they showed a lot of heart and determination," he said. "That team on paper should have blown us out. They had some big kids and probably half their team were juniors."
The newly built Valley school is in its first full year of football competition and does not yet have a senior class.
The Payson junior varsity is comprised mostly sophomore players mixed with a handful of juniors.
The Longhorns' win sent the obviously elated Loutzenheiser to coach's confines where he was seen scouring through the PHS gridiron record books.
"As far as I know, it's the first time a Payson football team at any level has beat a 5A school," he said.
In the victory, the young Horns scored on the opening drive when quarterback Josh Blalock hooked up with fullback Andy Sanders on about a 35-yard scoring pass.
O'Connor came roaring back minutes later tallying on a pop pass to the wingback. After several Payson players missed tackles, the wingback scooted untouched to pay dirt.
In second-quarter action, the Horns put together about a nine-minute drive that culminated with Blalock scoring on a bootleg keep play.
At halftime, Payson found itself clinging to a precarious 12-7 lead.
Although the first half was hard fought, the second turned all-Longhorn.
"We dominated," Loutzenheiser said.
Blalock got the Horns off and running scoring on a waggle run around end. Tailback Brandon Echols kept the heat on O'Connor tallying on a sweep around the left side of the drawn-in defense. Sanders added to the tally after breaking through the heart of the defense on an inside trap. Shelton Keith got into the scoring action tallying a two-point conversion play on a sweep around left end.
Although the Wing-T is often a ground-oriented offense, Loutzenheiser found plenty of opportunities to air it out.
"At one time, we threw six or seven consecutive passes," he said.
The victory, the coach said, "was a great win for a very inexperienced team, especially considering the opponent."
The junior varsity players, who also dress out with the varsity on Friday evenings, will return to action at 6 p.m. Sept. 24 vs. Prescott.