After returning the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown, Sam Boatman continued his onslaught, eventually leading the Longhorns (3-1) Friday evening in Miami to a 44-0 win over the homestanding Vandals (1-3).
Probably most importantly about the TD dart is that no flags were thrown, which was in sharp contrast to the 14-7 loss to Fountain Hills Sept. 7 in which the Horns were penalized 175 yards.
Boatman continued his offensive antics scoring on a 61-yard run with 8:24 remaining n the half.
Although Dean Harpe’s conversion kick was blocked, the Horns led 13-0.
The Horns upped their lead later in the first quarter on a 67-yard punt return. This time Harpe’s kick was good and gave the Horns a comfortable 20-0 cushion.
The Horns continued the blitzkrieg until the last play of the first half when Harpe booted a 25-yard field goal to push Payson out to a 37-0 lead as the team’s exited the field for the locker rooms.
With about two minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Horns tacked on an insurance TD on a 40-yard run and extra point kick to up the margin to 44-0.
The lopsided score allowed coach Jake Swartwood to give his reserves, including some junior varsity players, a chance for all-important Friday night playing time.
In addition to Boatman’s offensive contributions, the Horn effort in Miami received some tough running efforts from R.J. Cox.
Defensively, Kyle Brown and Tanner Savage starred for Swartwood’s bandits.
The two and other defenders held Miami’s leading rusher, Jacob Chisum to just 17 yards on 12 carries.
Brock McGill, the Vandal signal caller, was dropped for 11 yards in losses and had his one pass intercepted.
In the win, the Horns were without the services of starting quarterback Gunner Goodman and linemen Ty Davis and Zach Tatmun who were all sidelined by injuries incurred during the loss to Fountain Hills.
Goodman and Tatmun could return to practice this week, Swartwood said.
Next up for the Longhorns are the unbeaten and Division IV second-ranked Show Low Cougars.
Show Low survived a thriller last week edging rival Snowflake 24-23. In past years, Show Low has been known primarily as a passing team, but this year it appears to have morphed into more of a running group.