Longhorn running back R.J. Cox (#12) drives around the left side following his blockers during the homecoming game against the Coronado Dons, Friday, Oct. 19. The Longhorns won 28-26.
Photo by Andy Towle.
Although Globe will take a better record (6-3) into tonight’s regular season-ending football clash against the Longhorns (5-4), the Tigers trail in power point rankings partly because the team has played some lower division foes.
At midweek, Payson moved from 15th to 13th in power points, thanks in part to last week’s 28-26 win over the Coronado Dons.
Globe is sitting 14th and breathing down the Horns’ neck. Which means, tonight’s game is for all the playoff marbles.
If Payson wins, the team could move even higher in the power point rankings and earn a more advantageous seed into the state tournament.
If the Horns lose to Globe, they will drop in the rankings, possibly below No. 16, and not receive a state tournament seed.
Globe, at first glance, appears to be a formidable team, but a longer look at the Tigers’ schedule reveals some of its “W’s” are against suspect teams.
For example, the Tigers opened the season with wins over Tonopah Valley, 22-19 and San Carlos, 40-0.
Neither opponent invokes gridiron fear when their names are mentioned — say like Blue Ridge or Show Low.
Globe also manhandled, 36-8, a lowly Miami team that the Horns beat 44-0.
The Tigers have also beaten a school where basketball is king, Alchesay, 28-0, and Baboquivari 47-0.
Against a 2-7 Safford team, Globe won 38-7.
But all that is only images in the rear view mirror and the Horns’ focus vs. Globe has to be correcting last week’s second-half mistakes and penalties that allowed Coronado to roar back from a 20-0 deficit and almost pull off a win.
Coach Jake Swartwood says his team is at full strength except for an academic causality that will sideline one of the team’s best linemen.
Senior Gunner Goodman is expected to start at quarterback and will have hard running R.J. Cox and Sam Boatman to hand off to.
Miguel Mendoza and Tyus Sarnowski have also played pivotal roles and will again be asked to step up.
Up front, Kyle Brown and Ansemlo Vazquez anchor both the offensive and defensive lines that will be out to control the line of scrimmage.
On defense, the pair must help contain Tiger running back Johnny Rentina (No. 5), who has rushed for 1,143 yards and 10 TDs and 149 carries.
He’s obviously the workhorse in the Tiger “O” and holding him in check is a key to victory and a berth at state.