Second Rout Of Desert Ridge Could Be On Tap

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The Class 4A No. 10 ranked Payson Longhorns' non-regional clash Friday night at Desert Ridge could turn into a replay of last year's game.

In that debacle, the Horns cruised 41-0 as head coach Jerry Rhoades substituted junior varsity players for mop-up duty.

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Longhorn football offensive coordinator Mike Loutzenheiser (right) will be calling the plays this evening when the team travels to Desert Ridge looking to improve its record to 4-0.

After previewing game films of Desert Ridge, Rhoades said he didn't see much difference between this year's DR team and the one the Horns rocked in the second game of 2003.

Almost every Longhorn player who contributed to DR's demise last fall is back on this year's team.

Luke Apfel, now a junior, rushed for 97 yards last year and scored two touchdowns.

This season, Apfel is just now getting untracked. Last week, in a 47-0 drubbing of Apache Junction, the speedster turned in the best game of his varsity career, rushing for 152 yards and two touchdowns

Running backs James Gibson and Tyler Williams, both seniors, are back in the lineup after playing huge roles in the 2003 win over Desert Ridge.

Quarterback Donnie Wilbanks also is behind center as he was last season against DR when he completed six of eight passes for 92 yards.

Along the offensive and defensive lines, Kevin Allen, Greg Barnes, Kyle Sachak and Nick DeGroot will be pitted against DR for the second time in two years.

The results of Desert Ridge's last game leads fans to believe the Horns will be enjoying a good old-fashioned rear-end kicking.

In DV's last outing, Sept 10, a Pinnacle team deemed average at best steamrolled to a 67-6 triumph.

Couple the returning PHS veterans with a Desert Ridge team suffering through the growing pains of a two-year old program, and there's evidence the Horns (3-0) will remain unbeaten.

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