Payson's 47-0 drubbing of the Apache Junction Prospectors Friday evening in Longhorn stadium probably didn't do much to earn the team the valuable power points it needs to advance to the season-ending state tournament.
Last season, a similar pounding of the Prospectors didn't help the 8-2 Longhorns nail down a coveted state tournament invitation.
For Payson (3-0) to earn the power points needed for a 4A state berth, the Horns must have wins over so-called "quality" opponents. That is, foes with winning records.
From the way lackluster Apache Junction performed in the loss to Payson, it's doubtful the team will post a winning season.
The opportunity for a big time win probably won't present itself at the Horns next game Sept. 17 at Desert Ridge High School. Desert Ridge was soundly pounded by Pinnacle 67-6 Friday night.
Even though the Horns could be 4-0 at the end of the week, the team's state tournament aspirations could hinge on victories down the road over respectable foes. Although the Horn schedule does not currently have any top-12 ranked teams, that could change when the newest poll is released Tuesday.
On Friday, Grand Canyon region member Flagstaff whipped 12th ranked Glendale Independence 23-0.
Payson travels to Flagstaff Oct. 22 for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff in Walkup Skydome at Northern Arizona University.
In the Horns drubbing of the Prospectors, Payson jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter and expanded it to 19-0 at halftime. By the end of the third stanza, Payson was on cruise control at 33-0.
Junior speedster Luke Apfel paced the Horns' option offense racking up 152 yards on 14 carries. He also scored two touchdowns.
Fullback Tyler Williams pounded his way between the guards for 83 yards and four touchdowns on 21 carries.
If the Longhorns can somehow muster the power points that eluded last season's team, the state tournament kicks off Nov. 19 at the Skydome in Flagstaff.
In other Grand Canyon region games Friday, Page ran over Monument Valley 49-6 and Mingus lost to Thunderbird 35-7.