Football may be a team game, but occasionally one player is so dominant that he single-handedly takes control of a game. Rarely has that been more true than in Oregon, where McMinnville (Ore.) High senior Spencer Payne put up the game of his life against Hermiston (Ore.) High.
The game's final score showed a 59-44 victory for McMinnville, but it didn't reflect just how dominant a game Payne had put up. Traditionally a starter at running back and defensive back, Payne accounted for six touchdowns, and did so in four different ways: Rushing, receiving, passing and returning an interception.
Even more impressively, Payne racked up almost all of those points in a single half. According to the Yamhill Valley News Register, Payne scored five of his touchdowns in the first half and barely got on the field after intermission.
"[Payne is] Definitely dynamic," McMinnville football coach Don Rutschman said of his senior superstar. "He can cut on a dime. He's healthy right now. I think this also says maybe our line is improving a little bit.
"For tonight, he did a very good job, and when you think about it, in all honesty, other than kickoff returns he played one series in the second half."
As noted by the Hermiston Herald, Payne scored three touchdowns running the ball, caught one for a TD, threw for another and added his interception return for a score in the first half. The senior standout's stats were as unique as one might imagine for such a prolific performance, too.
• 17 rushes for 117 yards, 3 touchdowns
• 1 reception for 81 yards, 1 touchdown
• 1 pass for 34 yards, 1 touchdown
• 1 interception return for 30 yards, 1 touchdown
Put it all together, and that's more than 200 yards of total offense and another 30 in the return column. Payne also served as the team's primary return man for punts and kickoffs, and added 75 return yards to his impressive single-game dossier.
A returning All-State pick and the 2011 Pacific Conference Offensive Player of the Year, Payne's firepower is well known around the state, particularly among frequent foes like Hermiston. Clearly, knowing that Payne can cause damage isn't enough to keep him from doing so, as Hemiston found out in first person in its second game of the season.
You can see some of Payne's career highlights showcasing his various skills in the highlight reel above.
Perhaps Payne will outdo himself in the future. After all, he didn't score a touchdown on a punt or kickoff return, so there's still room for him to branch out.
If he doesn't, both Payne and the McMinnville fans can look back on an early season victory against Hermiston and know they witnessed something special.
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