PAYSON — Fumble, interception, fumble, fumble, punt, punt, punt.
Those aren't the most promising words to a high school football team when describing its first-half drives, and Payson High head coach Colby Knight wasn't too happy to hear them.
Spanish Fork capitalized on early turnovers and relied on another 100-yard, 2-touchdown performance by star halfback Aaron Davies as the Dons throttled Region 6 rival Payson 43-0.
"He's a great runner, he keeps his legs moving," Spanish Fork head coach Scott Brumfield said of his star running back. "With him and Nick Welsh, we feel like we have two of the best running backs in the county."
Turnovers spoiled the Lions' homecoming party as quarterback Blake Francom had trouble with exchanges between his center and running backs all night.
Francom, who was in for the injured starter Brett Hiatt, fumbled the ball five times, losing three of them in the first half.
Spanish Fork began its scoring early by converting on Payson's first fumble in the first quarter. Gavin Gardner got things going for the Dons when he hit Nick Welsh on an 18-yard touchdown pass with 8:10 left in the first.
The Dons then went on to hold the ball for nearly the entire second quarter before scoring again. Aaron Davies tacked on two touchdowns to push the Dons' lead to 21 with 1:07 left in the half.
The second half was more Spanish Fork as the Dons rolled off 22 unanswered points. Early in the third quarter, Spanish Fork rode its workhorse running back down to the Payson 32-yard line before an unusual play.
On third down, Gardner dropped back and hit Jeb Clark for what looked like a sure touchdown pass, but Clark fumbled the ball at the 1-yard line. Teammate Corbin Emerick then jumped on the ball and fell into the end zone to put the Dons up 28-0.
Payson finally put together a sound drive late in the third quarter as Francom completed back-to-back passes to the Spanish Fork 10-yard line. However, Francom was then sacked for the fourth time of the game and the Lions came up empty on a fake field-goal pass on fourth down.
Spanish Fork added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run by Bryce Dodge and a 45-yard interception return by Jordan Daley.
Spanish Fork improves to 4-1 on the season and 2-0 in region while Payson drops to 0-6.