Queen Creek at Poston Butte - East Valley Tribune: Home

Queen Creek at Poston Butte

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Two teams in a bit of transition. Queen Creek is the Div. III defending champions, but outside stud running back Matt Guida, it’s nearly an entire lineup of new faces on offense and defense. Poston Butte didn’t fare well in last year’s 36-3 loss to the Bulldogs, but the Broncos are healthier and have two-thirds of their starters back from 2012, plus a couple speedy transfers in Zack Smith and Keyshaun Boyd from Florence. Mike De La Torre’s team was ravaged by injuries, and depth is an issue again this year. But for the moment, at least, the Broncos are pretty healthy. The Bulldogs lost a few key assistant coaches from the past few years in Mark Swartz (stepped down to watch his son play) and Don Kramer (retired), but are still extremely well-coached. The Bulldogs will find a way to squeak this one out — it’s hard to stop Guida — but don’t let last year’s result be an indicator of how this game will unfold.

Prediction: Queen Creek 20, Poston Butte 14

--Mark Heller

Queen Creek has to replace all but three starters off last year’s Division III championship team, but few expect it to be an issue. The Bulldogs return Tribune Player of the Year Matt Guida (2,829 yards, 31 touchdowns) at running back and have a plethora of talented kids who were either backups on varsity last season or part of the successful JV team. Poston Butte has shown promise in its first few years as a program, and has 14 starters back from last year’s 5-5 team. The Broncos will likely take a step forward this season, but probably not enough to be in the same conversation as teams like Queen Creek, Williams Field, Desert Edge and Saguaro. Poston Butte isn’t expected to win this game, but staying competiive would be a positive sign. It’ll be interesting to see what Guida can do with almost a whole new offensive line in front of him.

Prediction: Queen Creek 31, Poston Butte 14

-- Kyle Odegard

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