A quick glance at game statistics is all it takes to explain the Longhorn football team's 56-6 loss Sept. 9 to homestanding Chandler Seton Catholic.
Of eight Payson pass attempts, three were intercepted and none completed.
Payson also fumbled four times and lost possession of each.
Seven crucial miscues and the absence of any type of well-balanced offensive attack is not the stuff of which victories are made.
Also contributing to the Longhorns demise was Seton coach Pete Wahlheim's strategy not to allow speedster Luke Apfel to return kicks or punts.
Wahlheim's decision to keep the pigskin out of the clutches of Apfel was prompted by Sept. 2 scouting reports from Payson's 34-21 loss to Winslow.
In that game, Apfel dazzled the crowd with two kickoff returns for touchdowns.
Calling Apfel "an incredible kid," the Seton coach instructed his kicker to always pooch the ball away from the Longhorn return sensation.
Unable to field the ball, Apfel was not the return threat he was against Winslow.
Game stats do reveal, however, he was able to pick up 117 yards on 19 carries.
Apfel also scored the Longhorn lone touchdown on a 41-yard third quarter scamper that capped a five play 66-yard drive.
The extra point kick by Nate Doyle was short.
While Payson was struggling to score, the state fourth-ranked Sentinels were lighting up the scoreboard at every turn.
Seton opened with a six-play 58-yard drive capped by Joe Koestner's 5-yard run.
Before the first quarter was over, Seton had expanded the cushion to 28-0 on three scoring drives all within the course of five minutes. At halftime, Seton led 35-0.
Entering the fourth quarter, Seton was sitting on a commanding 49-6 lead.
As disappointing as the defeat was, because the clash was a non-region battle, the results do not affect the Horns chances of earning a top-four region berth and a seed in the 3A state championship tournament.
Coach Jerry Rhoades will spend the practice week trying to regroup the Longhorns (1-2) for the team's all-important East region opener against Holbrook. Game time is 7 p.m., Sept. 16 in PHS stadium.
7 p.m. kickoff
Friday, Sept. 16
Payson High School stadium