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The Longhorns have outscored their first three opponents 30-3.

Payson beat visiting Rancho Solano Prep 13-0 on Tuesday, Sept. 7.

The Longhorns are 3-0 and have outscored their opponents 30-3.

Now, after three blowout victories, Payson’s boys soccer team faces several real tests this week.

The tests start today at Rumsey Park against Snowflake. The game is listed at 6 p.m. but it could be at 4. Call the school to confirm the start time.

The Longhorns will also see Show Low, Snowflake again, Blue Ridge and St. Johns in the Show Low Invitational on Friday, Sept. 17 and Saturday, Sept. 18.

Yes, this is a week full of tests.

“Not to put anyone down, but our schedule hasn’t been super challenging and that is a concern, but I think the guys understand that the schedule’s been fairly soft so far and it’s gradually increasing for us,” said Payson coach Billy Spalding.

“I think the tournament is going to help us a lot.”

Spalding kept only two starters in after the Longhorns built a 9-0 halftime lead over Rancho Solano Prep.

Esgar Reyes scored five goals to lead the offense. Ben Menghini added two goals and Easton Redford, Braden Tenney, Ismael Urquiza, Joel Vanzile and Trent Winton one each. It wasn’t clear by our deadline who scored the other goal.

The game ended after 60 minutes because Payson held at least an eight-goal lead.

The Show Low tournament will offer the Longhorns four chances to test themselves. But the only tournament that really matters comes at the end of the season.

Payson hasn’t reached the state title game since winning its only crown in 2002 under Roger Wholly. The Horns tied Sedona Red Rock 0-0 that year and shared the title.

The AIA then went to overtimes and shootouts to break ties the next year.

And Payson hasn’t been back to the final game.

These Longhorns want to change that.

The better they play during the regular season, the higher the seed they’ll carry into the state tournament.

The season started a couple of weeks ago.

But that was just a tune up.

It really starts this week.

Contact the reporter at kmorris@payson.com

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