Payson High School’s 2009 homecoming turned into the “Payson Herring Show” Friday evening as the speedy and talented junior ran for 209 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Longhorns to a 42-7 thumping of visiting Eloy Santa Cruz.
Herring scored on runs of 34, 26 and 80 yards in 11 carries. His first two touchdown darts coupled with a 13-yard run by quarterback Westin Gibson lifted the Longhorns out to a 21-0 first quarter lead.
Herring was playing in his first game of the season after regaining his eligibility earlier in the week. Last season, he played a big role in the Longhorns undefeated season and state championship but moved to the valley area during the summer months. He returned to PHS two weeks ago.
Payson also got a touchdown from fullback Nick Johnson on a one-yard plunge and another on a 50-yard pass from Gibson to lanky wide out Dakota Marshall.
Josh Frewin booted all six conversions.
SC (2-3), of the South region, scored its only TD in the fourth quarter after the PHS coaching staff began substituting liberally. With the win, the Longhorns improve to 2-3 and 0-1 in the East.
In other East region games on Friday, the Blue Ridge Yellow jackets nipped the Snowflake Lobos 33-29.Both teams entered the clash undefeated and state ranked. Also, Round Valley fell to Show Low 49-12.