The Winslow Bulldogs defeated the Payson Longhorns 34-21 in a non-conference football game played at Winslow on Friday. The win was Winslow's second in as many games. The Longhorns saw their record evened at 1-1.
The Bulldogs dominated the line of scrimmage but saw one big play and two long kick-off returns keep the Longhorns close.
Winslow drove 67 yards after the opening kickoff as Dillon DeWitt scored from a yard out. He had an earlier 32-yard run to set up the score. Kyle Holland converted for a 7-0 Winslow lead with 8:05 left in the first quarter.
Jordan Payne hit Josh Stago from a yard out for Winslow's second score with just 42 seconds left in the quarter. Payne had run 30 yards to the one to set up the touchdown. The conversion kick failed and the Bulldogs led 13-0.
The Bulldogs dominated the game until the Payson defense came up with a huge defensive stand and took the ball on downs at their own three-yard line.
A 65-yard run on fourth and five by quarterback Josh Blaylock with only 31 seconds left in the half sent the Longhorns to the locker room with momentum. Nate Doyle's conversion kick cut the Winslow lead to 13-7.
The Longhorns took their only lead of the game on the second half kickoff as Luke Apfel weaved his way 92 yards to the end zone. The conversion kick gave Payson a 14-13 advantage with 11:41 left on the clock.
Winslow wasted little time in regaining the lead as Payne hit Matt Oso on a 76-yard scoring pass with 10:12 still left in the quarter. The kick was good and the Bulldogs led again 20-14.
Payne engineered a 64-yard scoring drive and ran the final 39 to give the Bulldogs a 26-14 advantage with 3:02 left in the quarter. The conversion kick failed.
Apfel silenced the Winslow crowd with his second kickoff return for a touchdown of the quarter, this one from 90 yards. The conversion cut the Winslow lead to 26-21 with 2:41 still remaining in the quarter.
Winslow drove 72 yards for an answering touchdown with DeWitt scoring from a yard out on fourth down. Payne passed to Mark Armao for the two-point conversion that proved to be the last score of the game.
The Bulldogs defense held Payson at bay and the offense ate up the clock in the final period to seal the victory.
Payne was 5-for-13 passing for 167 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 142 yards on 14 carries and had a rushing touchdown. Anthony Martinez had 59 yards on 12 carries. DeWitt had 89 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.
Apfel had 70 yards on 16 carries, but added two kickoff returns for touchdowns and had well over 200 return yards. Blaylock got most of his yardage on the one play at the end of the first half.
Winslow will play the Snowflake Lobos at Snowflake at 7 p.m. on Friday. The Lobos evened their record at 1-1 with a 28-21 win over the Tuba City Warriors. The Lobos had lost to the Coolidge Bears 21-14 in their opener.