Just when it looked like the Payson Longhorns (4-2) might have to settle for a ho-hum 3-0 win over Sedona Red Rock, the offense got untracked, scoring two fourth-quarter touchdowns to lift PHS to a 17-0 victory vs. the Scorpions.
On Sept. 28 in Sedona, Dean Harpe’s 34-yard, second-quarter field goal gave the Horns a 3-0 lead at halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, Payson got on the scoreboard in the fourth frame with a 42-yard bootleg TD pass from quarterback Miguel Mendoza to tailback R.J. Cox.
Leading 10-0, Payson tacked on an insurance touchdown on Mendoza’s nicely executed 97-yard run off a jet sweep that once appeared to be a reverse.
On the play, Cox threw the block that broke Mendoza free.
Although first-year coach Jake Swartwood was pleased with the win, he remains concerned with the team’s progress in some areas — especially the all-important line.
“We haven’t started the same players any two consecutive games,” he said. “Eligibility and injuries are hurting us.”
Swartwood was, however, encouraged by the shutout on the scoreboard, lauding the defenders who kept Sedona at bay all evening long.
In particular, he cited Dakota Harold, saying the noseguard “solidified our play on the line.”
Next up for the Horns is state third-ranked Mingus on Oct. 5 in Mingus. Kickoff is 7 p.m.