The sun shown bright on Friday afternoon as the state football playoffs began for Lehi and Payson. It seemed to shine much brighter on the Pioneers as they walloped their visitors from Payson, 42-0.
Lehi came into the game riding a two-game win streak while Payson looked to get their first win since September.
The Pioneers were rolling right from the start, scoring their first touchdown of the game before one minute had come off the clock. Junior quarterback Creyton Cooper had two passing touchdowns in the first quarter to two different players. Cooper found Jaden Greenwood for 16 yards and the Pioneers first touchdown. His passing was momentarily paused when Pioneer running back Chandler Jenkins took off for a 42-yard scamper into the endzone. Cooper then connected with junior tight end Josiah Westover for a 28-yard score, giving the Pioneers a 21-0 lead after the first 12 minutes of play.
Lehi continued their scoring barrage in the second quarter. Cooper and Greenwood found the endzone again on a 15-yard touchdown pass-and-catch. Before the quarter came to a close, Cooper added seven points to the Pioneers dominating lead, dodging defenders on a quarterback keeper for another score, to give Lehi a 35-0 lead at the half.
The Lions were unable to get on the board in the second half as the Pioneers completed their shutout. The Pioneer’s defense remained stout from start to finish as their offense coasted in the second half, scoring only once. Lehi senior running back Carsen Manookin muscled his way at the goal line for the only score of the half.
Payson’s defeat marks their eighth loss on the year, giving the Lion’s a final record of 3-8.
With the win, Lehi will advance to the second round of the state playoff where they will take on Woods Cross next Friday.