The Longhorn boys soccer team stamped themselves an East region title contender, with a pulsating 1-0 win over the Round Valley Elks.
In the Sept. 19 clash at Rumsey Park, David Hernandez -- a team stalwart the past two seasons -- scored in the first half to give the Horns a lead they never relinquished.
Brandon Moratti was credited with an assist on the play.
Goalie Anthony Pearce chalked up a shut out by continually fending off Elk shot attempts.
All season long, Pearce -- who also plays baseball and basketball-- has been a tough nut for opposing offenses to crack.
Chad Lemmers shined defensively, recording 10 steals.
Also in soccer play, the Horns dropped a 1-0 decision to the Show Low Cougars Sept. 20 at Rumsey Park. The game was originally scheduled for Sept. 21, but was rescheduled at the request of Show Low school officials. The defeat does not count in the region standings because it was not designated on the schedule as an East game.
With the 1-1 split last week, the Longhorns now prepare for the Pioneer Title Challenge, which will be played Sept. 28, and 29 on two Rumsey Park fields.
Payson is in action opening day at 9 a.m. against Valley Lutheran and at 2 p.m. vs. St. Michael. Both games are on the north Rumsey field.
The Horns wrap up tournament opening group action at 9 a.m. Saturday against Snowflake on the Rumsey South field.
The Horns will again play at 2 or 4 p.m., depending on where the team finished in group play.