It's not often that 9-year-old, 60-plus pound boys are encouraged to scrap, wrestle, tackle and exchange body blows with one another.
But that's exactly what occurred Oct. 13 on the Payson High School football field where the Payson Bears played host to the Pinetop-Lakeside Thunder.
Following more than an hour of hard-hitting action, the Bears disembarked the field an 8-0 victory over the visitors.
In the defensive struggle, Bear defensive stalwarts Jake Beeler, Andrew Henning, Brook Randall and C.J. Adcock continually thwarted the Thunder offense.
"We played well on defense," coach Jeremy Ritchie said
With the win, the Bears improved to 4-1 in the Central Arizona Youth Football Association Might Mite standings.
Next up for the Bears is an Oct. 20 CAYFA showdown against the Camp Verde Rattlers. Kick off is 8 a.m. at Payson High School.