Season Opener A Romp


With 14 seconds remaining in the first half, quarterback Ridge Halenar found wide receiver Tyler Savage on a fade route in the corner of the end zone to give the Longhorns a 20-0 lead over Fountain Hills.

Payson scored only one other time, on senior fullback David Carlen's short TD run with 9:50 remaining.

But the points scored in the season opener, Aug. 29 in Fountain Hills, held up as the state top-five ranked Longhorns breezed to a 26-0 win. Much of the credit for the victory must go to defensive coordinator Kenny Hayes's bandits who time and again thwarted Falcon scoring drives. In the first half, the Horns held FH to just 45 yards before the staff started substituting liberally playing several sophomores.

Through the airways, Halenar and Savage showed a passing punch that could be the compliment coaches are looking for in the ground-oriented power option offense. Savage finished with six catches for 125 yards and two TDs.

Payson showed they'd come to play on the second play of the game when senior Nick Goodman broke loose on a 70-yard trap play to the Falcon one-yard line. Just one play later, Payson scored to take a lead the team never relinquished.

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