At halftime the Payson Longhorns were looking at a dismal 20-6 score against Chino Valley. By the end of the game the score was 22-20, with the W in the Horns’ column.
“An interesting game,” said statistician Bill Lawson. “The team showed a lot of heart in coming back from 20-6 down at halftime.”
The win came from rushing touchdowns by Nick Johnson, Weston Gibson and Landis Quade. Gibson passed for 41 yards and rushed for 114. Other top rushers were Nick Johnson for 66 and Landen Johnson for 24.
The Horns had 16 first downs to Chino’s five and 201 yards rushing to the opponent’s 141. Payson made 41 yards passing, while Chino Valley made 76. The Longhorns had 12 pass attempts, successfully completing six and one interception. Chino Valley attempted 11 passes and completed five.
The Cougars put the first score on the board in the first quarter and followed it up with 14 points in the second quarter. The Horns’ first six points were made in the second quarter, with 12 in the third and four in the fourth.
The Longhorn JV team beat its Chino Valley counterpart 27-0.
The first varsity home game is tonight, Sept. 11. The Horns face Mingus at 7 p.m.
“Mingus is a tough team, we’ll have to play a great game to have a chance at beating them,” coach Matt Mayo said.
Mayo said he wants to focus on getting better every week and not worry about the opponent.