A pair of prep football teams bound in entirely different directions clashed Friday evening in Payson High School stadium.
Top ranked and unbeaten Blue Ridge, seemingly headed for the state title game, overwhelmed, 49-7, the struggling Longhorns, a team that is falling intro the East Region cellar and a group without many playoff hopes remaining.
With the loss, Payson falls to 2-6 overall, 0-3 in the region and is on a four-game losing streak.
In the game — which featured the two teams that played last fall for the 2008 3A state championship — the Yellow Jackets wasted little time in jumping on Payson, taking a 14-0 first quarter lead on scoring passes from Jake Meixler to Keevan Shimmel and from Jake Meixler to his brother Nick Meixler.
Jake Meixler went on to score two more touchdowns, one on a 67-yard run and the final TD of the game on a 30-yard scamper.
Payson scored its only TD late in the third quarter on a 24-yard pass from quarterback Jake Sleeper to 6-foot-5-inch Dakota Marshall.
Payson was without several of its standouts who were sidelined by injuries. They included Brandon Alexander (concussion), Westin Gibson (ankle) and Ben Sandoval (shoulder).
Logan Garner, an all-region center last season, played with a broken hand and was moved to right guard.
Payson will try to keep its slim playoff hopes alive when the team travels Oct. 23 to Alchesay. Game time is 7 p.m.