Proof that old coaching adage is true can be found in the Longhorn football team's 45-16 loss Sept. 8 to visiting Chandler Seton Catholic.
Horn miscues, including eight fumbles, an intercepted pass and missed assignments, ended any hopes the
Longhorns had of upsetting Seton and revenging last year's 56-6 loss to the Sentinels.
The errors committed also raised the ire of Horn coach Josh Anderson.
"I am very displeased with our ability to give our opponents great field position as well as give up such big plays on third and long the last two games," he said. "We have starters who are either forgetting their blocking assignments or not completing them. Our running backs are going the wrong way on plays I put in back in the spring."
Probably the most frustrating of the Horn miscues were the three fumbles lost and an interception. All ended Longhorn offensive drives and eventually were converted into Seton touchdowns.
The first lost fumble, on the Horns 10-yard line, occurred with 9:59 remaining in the first quarter.
Less than a minute and three plays later, Seton had a 7-0 lead.
The Longhorns lost another fumble with about three minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Once again, Seton took advantage driving 21 yards in 50 seconds to take a 14-0 lead.
In the second quarter, Payson appeared to have righted its listing ship with a 13-play, 53-yard drive.
But with 1:16 remaining in the half, the drive ended with a third lost fumble.
In the third quarter, the Horns once again appeared to be driving for a score, going 68 yards in nine plays. But with 3:47 remaining, Seton ended the drive with a pass interception.
"This team has not matured as fast as I was hoping for," Anderson said. "The basic parts of football are blocking and tackling and right now we are looking like we don't know how to do either."
If there was a bright side to Payson's lackluster showing it was the play of sophomore middle linebacker Steel Armstrong who finished with a game high 17 tackles. Armstrong now leads the East region in tackles with 49. The region runner-up, Ethan Amos of Alchesay, has 36.
Also drawing praise from defensive coordinator Kenny Hayes was nose tackle Kevin Connor. The 6-2, 255-pound junior finished with five tackles.
Offensively, tailback B.J. Hill racked up 73 yards on 11 carries.
For the season, Hill is averaging 6.7 yards per carry.
Sophomore quarterback Ridge Halenar rushed for 76 yards on 15 carries and completed eight of 14 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown.
Zach Rodgers hauled in three passes for 40 yards.
If the Horns had not committed the errors, the two teams appeared to be relatively evenly matched. Payson had 18 first down and Seton 19. The Horns controlled the ball for 34:07 and Seton had possession for 25:53. Seton put up 371 yards in total offense and the Horns ran and passed for 318.
But, for the second successive game, miscues plagued the Longhorns' struggles of the past two games have Anderson barking out a challenge to his players.
"It's time for us to find a way to play together as a team instead of self destructing as individuals,"he said. "We are better than we are playing, but actions speak louder than words."
The Longhorns will have the opportunity to prove they are a better team, as their coach says, Sept. 15 at Holbrook.
Kick off is at 7 p.m.