Outlook: The Falcons will try to lay low this week as they take on the Longhorns in a nonregion battle.
Coach Jim Fairfield has two banged-up fullbacks. One, D.J. Morris, is out for another two to three weeks with a fractured foot, while another, Cameron Estes, will play, but not much. The Falcons play a key 3A West Region game next week at top-ranked Wickenburg, and Fairfield wants to get to that game as healthy as possible.
“We had some guys get dinged up last week, so we’re going to play some other guys this week,” Fairfield said. “This game doesn’t help us in our region, and our priorities are to get to the playoffs first.”
Jeremy Baker will get his first start at fullback, but Estes will see some action. One starter who won’t play at all is tight end Ernesto Romo, who has an ankle injury but will be back for the Wickenburg game. In some good news, the Falcons’ starting center, Shea Ruppert, will be back after missing the last few weeks following an appendectomy.
Address: 16100 E. Palisades Blvd., Fountain Hills
Records: Payson 2-3; Fountain Hills 4-1
Last year’s meeting: Payson 17, Fountain Hills 14