Longhorn Soccer Team In A Must-Win Situation

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Andy Towle/Roundup - atowle@payson.com

Blocking the ball with his back, Trae Dunman keeps the ball away from the Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets during a defensive play in the first half of the game at Rumsey Park, Wednesday, Oct. 15.

With only two games remaining in the season, the Longhorn boys soccer team could be out of the running for a state tournament berth.

At least that’s the opinion of coach Chad Gower who says, “I have not been the least bit pleased with anyone’s play ... we’re pretty much knocked out of the playoffs, we’d have to go 2-0 to get a chance at state.”

Compounding the dire straits is that the Horns’ two remaining games are on the road — Oct. 18 at Snowflake and Oct. 22 at Holbrook.

According to Maxpreps standings, the Horns are 10-6-1 overall, 3-2 in the East and in third place in the standings.

Blue Ridge is 13-1-1 and 5-1 and in first place. With 12-4-1 and 4-1 credentials, Holbrook is second.

Although the PHS team has had an up and down season, several players have turned in some quality playing time including leading scorer Phillip Leibundgut, Shane Crisp, Nic Creighton, Jerry Renteria and Dakoda Wholly.

The team’s finest outing might have been turned in Sept. 22 at Rumsey Park where the Longhorns saddled the tough Holbrook Roadrunners with a 3-1 loss.

In the win, it was the defense of Ben Sandoval, Derek Williams, Ben Lee and Jimmy Behrens that paved the way to the victory.

If the Horns find some way to earn a state tournament berth, the fray begins Oct. 31 at Tempe Sports Complex.

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