In the White Mountains, they are calling it the biggest upset in the past 13 years.
In the Rim Country, they’re saying, “Finally.”
Being mulled over in both areas is the Longhorn boys soccer team’s 3-3 tie on Sept. 13 against juggernaut Blue Ridge that ended the Yellow Jacket’s 57-game winning streak.
While some compare a tie to kissing your sister, the dead knot is being celebrated in Payson because it came against a BR team that is ranked No. 1 in the nation by Maxpreps, is riding the quest of three consecutive state championships and has won eight Arizona titles in the past 13 years.
In the hard-fought match, which was played in Lakeside, Payson jumped on top 1-0 scoring in the first half. In the second half, Payson scored again, but the Yellow Jackets rallied for two goals to tie up the game 2-2 in regulation.
In two overtimes, both teams scored, leaving the score dead even.
For the Horns, Kaylon Hinton scored two goals and Ivan Mares had a single tally.
But it wasn’t individuals coach Chris Avakian was talking about at the conclusion of the battle.
“Total team effort, everyone contributed,” he said. “We couldn’t have done it if everyone hadn’t (contributed).”
For Blue Ridge, senior Knoah Brosemann scored two goals and Tyler Tsouhiarkis had one.
A day after tying the Jackets, the Longhorns returned to the White Mountains to compete in the Show Low Invitational.
In it, Payson finished with a 2-2 record, losing twice to a Las Vegas, Nev. team and beating Snowflake, 2-1, and Holbrook, 7-0.
Payson travels today to Tucson for the Old Pueblo Invitational being hosted by Desert Christian High School.
Today, Friday, the Horns play at 3:30 p.m. against host Desert Christian and at 5:30 p.m. vs. Academy of Tucson.
Tomorrow, Saturday, PHS takes on St. Gregory at 8 a.m. and Benson at 11 a.m.
On Oct. 2, the Horns clash again with Blue Ridge, but this time with the Rumsey Park home field advantage.
Because the match will be Payson’s final home game of the 2012 season, it has been designated “Senior Night” and will honor the team’s 14 senior members. PHS boys soccer schedule indicates the match starting time as 4 p.m., but it has been changed to 6 p.m.