Three years after creating the friendly rivalry game, “Battle of the Beeline,” Fountain Hills High School football head coach Jason Henslin finally had to turn over the victory trophy to Payson.
The Falcons hosted the Payson Longhorns at the Falcons Nest on Oct. 23 and lost the game by a final score of 28-14.
This week, the Falcons have their last home game of this short season, meaning they will also celebrate Senior Night. Fountain Hills plays Show Low this Friday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m.
Henslin said he believes Friday’s loss came from a lack of preparedness on the part of Fountain Hills.
“Unfortunately, the Payson coaches had their team better prepared than we had our team and it showed,” Henslin said. “(Payson) was the more aggressive team. They had a good game plan to stop Shane Davenport from moving around the pocket, since that’s when he’s usually at his best, rolling around.”
Along with controlling the Falcon quarterback, Payson had a firm grasp on the flow of the game.
“(Payson) also controlled the clock the whole game,” Henslin said. “We ran only 12 offensive plays in the first half of the game, which is the lowest that I have ever seen us do.”
When the game ended and the dust cleared, both teams respectfully got together to hand over the Beeline trophy.
“It was definitely difficult handing that trophy over at the end of the game,” Henslin said. “Each team lined up on the hashmarks facing each other and I went and handed over the trophy to coach Burke of Payson.”
Looking to move past this loss and on to this week’s game, Henslin is excited to celebrate the seniors after such a turbulent year.
“We’re looking forward to Senior Night this week,” Henslin said. “This group of seniors has been through a lot, with all the uncertainty over the summer. They stuck with it and worked hard. So, I am proud of them.”