Any hopes the Payson High School Longhorn football team harbored of earning a postseason berth were squashed Friday night in a 35-13 loss to the visiting Mingus Marauders.
The Horns -- who opened the season 4-0 and were ranked among the top-15 teams in the state -- will be playing the remainder of the season for pride alone.
Remaining on the schedule are Grand Canyon region foes Flagstaff, Page and Sinagua.
The Flagstaff clash will be played Friday in the Northern Arizona University Skydome in Flagstaff. Payson hosts both Page and Sinagua. Kickoff in Flagstaff is 7:30 p.m. In Payson, games start at 7 p.m.
Against Mingus, the injuries the PHS team has suffered recently proved too much of an obstacle to overcome.
With starting quarterback Donnie Wilbanks sidelined by a knee injury, tailback Luke Apfel tried to fill the void at the signal-caller position.
Although Apfel rushed for 85 yards and completed four-of-11 passes for 114 yards and a TD, the Longhorns didn't have the firepower they had when Wilbanks was in the lineup. Fullback Tyler Williams took over for Apfel at tailback and rushed for 40 yards on 18 carries.
If there was a highlight for the Longhorns it was the receiving of tight end Chris Skinner who caught two passes for 88 yards and a TD.
Mingus, where Payson coach Jerry Rhoades once was the defensive coordinator, got on the scoreboard with 17 seconds remaining in the first quarter, when quarterback Jay Arthur rumbled 95 yards for a touchdown. Mingus upped the lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter before Apfel passed to Skinner for 65 yards and a TD to cut the lead to 14-7.
With 3:17 remaining in the first half, Arthur passed to Joe Rosas for 60 yards and a TD to give the Marauders a 28-7 halftime lead.
Apfel capped a seven play 60-yard drive on a 11-yard third quarter TD scamper that pulled Payson to within 28-13.