Payson High School football defensive coordinator Byron Quinlan predicted two weeks ago that Ryan Risland’s return to the line up from an injury suffered last summer would bolster the Longhorns.
His prediction was on target Friday evening in PHS stadium where Rislund's returned a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown. Coupled with Josh Frewin’s kick, the daring dash gave the Longhorns an early 7-0 lead over the Fountain Hills Falcons.
The only problem was, the return was the only points the Horns could muster in a 15-7 loss to the birds.
Fountain Hills scored, oddly enough, on two safeties and a one-yard run by Beau Hilgeman in the first half . Ty Blunt tacked on 32-yard third quarter field goal.
With the non-region loss, the defending state champion Horns fall to 2-5 on the year and are in danger of not earning a berth into the state championship tournament