SAN TAN VALLEY — The Poston Butte football team entered this season with the mindset that they had unfinished business after falling to Casa Grande Union in last year’s 4A Conference state title game.
The Broncos carried that chip on their shoulders through the regular season and managed to secure the No. 4 seed in this year’s state tournament with a 6-4 record.
Their first obstacle in trying to get back to the title game is No. 13 Lake Havasu on Friday night.
It’s been an up-and-down season for Poston Butte when it comes to injuries, but they have managed to perceiver so far. The Broncos will need to continue with the next man up mentality as more players got banged up in their regular season finale against American Leadership Academy-Gilbert North last week.
That game against the Eagles was another situation where the Poston Butte defense did everything they could to help win the game, but the offense just wasn’t able to get it done on their end.
The running attack looked strong as Gaven Thrower and Aidan Contreras combined for 250 rushing yards.
Poston Butte’s handful of injuries throughout the season has provided other players the opportunity to get some playing time in during the regular season.
One of those players is sophomore quarterback Mason Lloyd who has taken over the starting spot for Max Larson. Lloyd was given the opportunity to gather himself and prepare from the sidelines to start last week’s game as Connor Lopez handled things on the first drive for the Broncos.
Although he is known for his defensive prowess, Jakhi Robertson has provided a boost with the run game. Robertson has 19 carries for 152 yards and two touchdowns. He also leads the team with 84 tackles, and interceptions with seven for 184 yards.
A big boost for Poston Butte is that being in the East Sky Region has helped them prepare for this next phase as they’ve already seen playoff contenders like ALA-GIlbert North, Snowflake and Apache Junction.
Lake Havasu (7-3) has a really strong defense as Evan Smith leads the way in tackles with 74 and Gavin Briggs has 3.5 of the team’s 11 sacks.
Brock Cross, Justin Taylor and Smith each have three interceptions for a combined 178 yards.
Offensively, Tyler Thompson has 1,541 passing yards with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. Thompson does a solid job of spreading out his passes among his receivers in James Douglas, Omare Feely and Briggs.
Running back Isaac Stopke averages 161.8 rushing yards a game and lead the team with 24 touchdowns.
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