Longhorns Feel Bulldogs' Bite

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There's a reason the Winslow Bulldogs advanced to the 2005 state championship and are now a state-ranked team.

They take advantage of what's offered them.

And that's exactly what coach Adam Larsen's Dogs did in a 24-14 victory over the Payson Longhorns Sept. 1 in PHS stadium.

But the loss did nothing to dampen first year PHS coach Josh Anderson's enthusiasm for the team.

"This team has heart, that's what I like about it," he said. "We were down 24-7 (late in the fourth quarter) and had the ball on our own four-yard line.

"We had every reason to quit, but didn't."

The Horns responded to the adversity with a 96-yard scoring drive capped by sophomore quarterback Ridge Halenar's TD run.

The touchdown closed the Winslow lead to the final 10 points.

Payson scored its other TD in the first quarter on a pass from Halenar to senior wide receiver Miles Huff.

Winslow, trailing 7-3 at halftime, returned from the locker room to take advantage of Longhorn miscues and score 21 consecutive points.

In the course of less than a quarter, the Dogs went from trailing by four points to leading by 17.

Payson opened in impressive fashion, scoring early on the pass from Halenar to Huff and holding the powerful Winslow Wing-T offense to a single field goal.

But Winslow cranked up their offense on the first drive of the third quarter, smash-mouthing the football downfield to pay dirt.

"That was the only long touchdown drive we gave up," Anderson said.

The score gave the Dogs a 10-7 lead early in the stanza.

Following the ensuing kickoff, Payson fumbled and Winslow took over in good field position at about the five-yard line.

Only seconds later, Winslow scored to take a 17-7 lead.

Following the kickoff, the Payson offense stalled and was forced to punt.

On the punt, however, a Winslow defender charged in from the corner to block the attempt.

After taking over at about the 17-yard line, Winslow scored its third TD of the quarter.

Payson came back with a fourth quarter score to close the lead to 10 points, but could never get closer.

Following the game, Longhorn defensive coordinator Kenny Hayes said, the defense "played good, but not great. That's why we lost."

Hayes also attributed the loss to "poor field position" caused by the third quarter turnovers.

Anderson said the loss could be attributed to losing the "turnover, field position and penalty battles."

For the defense, sophomore middle linebacker Steel Armstrong led all tacklers with 16.

He now has a region-leading 32 for the season.

Armstrong also was recently named a team co-captain in a voting of varsity players. Sophomore quarterback Ridge Halenar and senior tight end/linebacker Zak Miller were also selected co-captains in the player voting.

"Coaches will pick a fourth captain each week," Anderson said.

The Longhorns (1-1) now begin preparations for a Sept. 8 showdown in PHS stadium against Chandler Seton. The Sentinels are coming off a 49-26 victory over Bourgade Catholic.

Kick off is 7 p.m.

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