Something had to give Friday evening when cellar dwellers Payson and Alchesay collided in an East region Senior Night football game played in Whiteriver.
What eventually gave was the Falcons in Payson’s 52-0 victory.
With the win, the Longhorns improve to 3-6 overall, 1-3 in the East, and move up to fifth place in the six-team East standings.
Hapless Alchesay remains in last place with 2-7 and 0-4 marks. Payson’s victory broke its three-game skid.
If there were any doubts which was the superior team, they were erased on the opening kickoff when Payson’s Ryan Rislund returned the pigskin 90 yards for a touchdown.
Coupled with Josh Frewin’s successful extra point conversion, it gave the Horns a 7-0 lead and set the stage for Payson’s offensive blitzkrieg.
Rislund lit up the scoreboard again on a 50-yard punt return for a touchdown with 1:03 remaining in the first quarter.
Sandwiched between Rislund’s two scores were a four-yard touchdown plunge by fullback Nick Johnson and a 25-yard scoring pass from quarterback Jake Sleeper to Dakota Marshall.
Longhorn speedster Payson Herring tacked on more misery to Alchesay woes, breaking lose on a 58-yard TD scamper to give the Horns a 35-0 lead.
Herring scored a second TD on a 42-yard run with 8:12 remaining in the second quarter.
The shifty scatback wrapped up the evening with 117 yards on just three carries.
Jimmy Behrens shouldered most of the rushing workload, picking up 111 yards on seven carries, one of which was a 50-yard TD run.
With the ground game churning out huge chunks of real estate, Sleeper threw only one pass — the scoring aerial to Marshall. Although Alchesay was clearly outmanned by a superior opponent, the Horns did enjoy their finest offensive outing of the year, picking up 375 yards of total offense. Defensive coordinator Byron Quinlan’s bandits also had a banner day, holding the Falcons to 43 yards rushing and 48 passing.
Also defensively, Cameron Geske and Nick Johnson had interceptions.
The Longhorns now turn their attention to a season-ending clash Oct. 30 in PHS stadium against the Show Low Cougars.
Kickoff is 7 p.m.