The Payson Longhorns traveled to take on the Show Low Cougars on a chilly Friday night. The Cougars were looking to rebound after taking their first lost of the season last week to the Round Valley Elks.

The Longhorns brought a balanced offensive attack to town with quarterback Dexter Waterman and running back Caleb Marinelli leading their team.

The Cougars didn’t waste any time as they pounced on the Longhorns in the first quarter with a running game that was too much for the Payson defense and won going away 61-8.

Ryan Kishbaugh would get 4- and 17-yard touchdown runs to start the contest. The Cougars’ defense wouldn’t allow a first down in the first quarter to go with a Colten Yeager 23-yard interception return for a score.

The Longhorns would get a fumble recovery and start a 50-yard drive that ended with Waterman finding Connor Hatch for a 17-yard touchdown pass plus a two-point conversion that would make it 22-8.

A quarterback draw by Yeager would start the scoring in the second quarter for the Cougars add to a 30-8 lead. Kishbaugh wasn’t finished lightning up the scoreboard as he would take an interception 71 yards for the score giving the Cougars a 36-8 halftime lead.

The Cougars’ defense would keep up the pressure in second half as the Longhorns wouldn’t score again. Cooper Ervein and Ray Pedraza would both get rushing touchdowns in third quarter to move the lead to 49-8 going into the final quarter.

The Show Low defense came up big in this one with six takeaways with Ryan and Jeremy Kishbaugh accounting for four of the takeaways. As the fourth quarter temperature dropped to 34 degrees, the Cougars added to the score with a Carson Cooper 1-yard score and backup quarterback Nash Brewer’s 6-yard draw would make it 61-8.

Ryan Kishbaugh would put a stamp on his player of the game status by snagging two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown to go with his two rushing touchdowns.

As both teams felt that October chill in the air, the Cougars clapped down on the Longhorns in the fourth quarter showcase with an offense with multiple weapons. There wasn’t enough cowbell on the Payson Longhorns sidelines for this one as the Show Low Cougars’ defense shut down the Payson offense with six takeaways and a dominating showing.

Show Low improved to 7-1, and Payson dropped to 4-4.

The much-anticipated matchup with the 5-2 Blue Ridge Yellowjackets will take place on Friday at Show Low.

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