Florence Poston Butte traveled to Gilbert Campo Verde for a Division II, Section VI matchup in which they hoped to get their first section win. It wasn’t meant to be, as Campo Verde dominated Poston Butte 42-7.
It was a dominant performance, highlighted by some stifling defense, a punt block and a punt returned for a touchdown.
Campo Verde (8-1, 3-0) got started slowly, as they didn’t hit paydirt until 7:08 in the second quarter, when senior quarterback Luke Pineda hit senior wide receiver Erick Belcher for a 3-yard score. Pineda would get into the end zone untouched later in the second quarter, scoring on an 11-yard quarterback keeper.
Pineda showed an accurate arm during the second quarter, completing nine passes in a row at one point. The Poston Butte defense never could figure out the digs, slants and stop routes featured in Campo Verde’s quick passing attack. Pineda would finish the day with 26 completions on 33 attempts, for 303 yards and four touchdowns.
The defense, which started strong, really created some separation in the second half. Junior safety Erik Hildebrandt was in on numerous tackles throughout the night, but it was his punt block in the third quarter that led to another Pineda touchdown pass, this time 24 yards to Jacob Sims.
Sims would catch another from Pineda (2-yard touchdown) in the fourth quarter to officially put the game away. Sims finished with six receptions for 90 yards and two touchdowns.
Campo Verde’s Erick Belcher had an interception for a touchdown nullified by a pass interference penalty, but that didn’t stop him from returning a punt 50 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Despite having the first opportunity to score, Poston Butte (3-6, 0-3) faltered when it mattered most. In the first quarter, junior quarterback Russell Corriveau threw a beautiful pass to junior wide receiver Caleb Lineberry for a 72-yard gain. Lineberry was stopped at the 8-yard line, but Poston Butte came away with no points after an unsuccessful fourth down attempt.
Corriveau would finally get Poston Butte on the board late in the third quarter, hooking up with wide receiver Keyshawn Boyd for a 3-yard touchdown. Corriveau competed, but finished with an unspectacular 12 completions on 22 attempts, for 226 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He was replaced due to injury in the fourth quarter by Anthony Whomble.