Casa Grande goes unbeaten, tops Poston Butte

December 10, 2021 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Casa Grande shows off its 4A football title trophy after hard-fought 33-28 victory over Poston Butte at Sun Devil Stadium. (Azpreps365 photo)

Casa Grande's football season couldn''t have finished any better Friday night at Sun Devil Stadium.

The Cougars first title game in school history (90-plus years in the making) was a hard-fought 33-28 victory over Poston Butte in the 4A championship game. The win capped an unbeaten season (13-0) and gave fans on both sides a thrilling contest. Casa Grande scored twice in a 2 1/2 minute span of the final quarter that brought it from a 28-21 deficit to the final score. The Cougars defense did its part turning back a Poston Butte scoring threat as time ran out. Poston Butte, appearing in its first championship game in just more than a decade as a varsity program, finished 11-3.

"What a game," Casa Grande coach Jake Barro said. "(Quarterback) Angel Flores came up with big plays on our last two drives. Our defense made a stop at the end. I didn't see (unbeaten) season coming, but what we accomplished was a possiblity. These kids have been very goal-oriented."

Flores, indeed delivered big plays - showing up and thensome. He accounted for 2,523 yards in 12 games leading up to the title game. Flores bettered his average of 212 yards per game with a 418-yard showing (299 yards passing and one TD and 119 yards rushing and three TDs) in the championship game.

The teams see-sawed scores in the first half, playing to a 14-all tie. Casa Grande took its first lead (21-14) on its opening drive of the third quarter with Flores scoring his second TD to that point on a 23-yard run. Poston Butte scored the next 14 points to regain the lead, 28--21 with 11:29 left in the game. 

Flores engineered the next two scoring drives. An 11-play, 78-yard drive was finished by a Flores 1-yard run. Flores accounted for 73 of the 78 yards rushing or passing. A missed extra point meant Casa Grande was still behind, 28-27, with 6:09 left. Casa Grande forced a three-and-out and got the ball back at its 38 with four minutes left. 

Flores threw three consecutive incompletions, leaving Casa Grande with a fourth-and-10. Flores managed the play of the game teaming up on a 59-yard completion to Demetrius Garrett to the Poston Butte 5. The next play RJ Keeton skirted the right side for a TD and the game's decisive score with 2:33 to play.

Poston Butte drove from its 17 to the Casa Grande 23 with one second left. A Hail-Mary in the end zone was blanketed by three Casa Grande defenders covering the Broncos Connor Lopez and Nijay Wilson and fell incomplete.

Casa Grande (white jerseys) defend a Poston Butte pass attempt on its final drive in its 33-28 victory on Friday night. (Azpreps365 photo)