Kings of Gantzel: Poston Butte defeats Combs in Renewed Rivalry

2 months ago Andrew Luberda 0

The Battle on Gantzel finished in dramatic fashion with a 55 – 28 win for the Poston Butte Broncos over the Combs Coyotes.

Since the opening of both schools in 2009, the Battle on Gantzel on the football field has favored the Broncos and it did again on Friday night, despite the Coyotes looking to end the Broncos reign.

The Coyotes came out of the gate ready to go by scoring an opening 94-yard touchdown in their opening drive, however, after that it seemed that the Broncos woke up and came on full force. Taking a 26-7 lead into halftime.

After extended an hour-and-fifteen-minute halftime due to an hour weather delay, the Coyotes came out and put 21 points on the scoreboard in the third quarter but that wouldn’t be enough to overcome the Broncos, who responded right back with 29 points of their own in the second half to seal up their first win of the season.

Combs waits out a weather delay that lasted more than an hour. (Caela Fox)

With both teams losing their first games of the season, this game was to see who could come out and win the Battle on Gantzel.

Throughout the entire game it was very run heavy, with the Broncos totaling 504 rushing yards and eight touchdowns while the Coyotes finished with 468 yards and four touchdowns.

“When we lost our top wide receiver, Francisco Munoz, it kind of change up our whole game plan, so we had to go run heavy against a team that runs a lot so there was a lot of running in this game,” said Combs head coach Travis Miller.

For the Coyotes, they really fought and battled the whole game through and never gave up, however, due to only having 26 players suit up they started to get tired at the end of the game. They also had some injuries towards the end of the game as well.

However, Miller said that he is very happy with what his team did on the field and for the Coyotes, they really used that extended delay to their advantage to watch film and then came out and worked on some of the things that they struggled with in the first half.

“As a coach you would be really upset if your boys just kind of quit when things aren’t going good. We were down 26 – 7 at the half, we went in, we studied, we took advantage of that extra time and made some adjustments, we watched film, and you can see that in the second half things really worked for us,” Miller said.

Miller also said that towards the end of the game Poston Butte took advantage of a tired Coyotes team and he gave the Broncos credit for pulling out the win Friday Night.

“I’m not upset with my boys at all. It’s not one of those games where maybe you get upset because a couple of kids might be giving up because we’re not playing so well, thinking we are down the game is over. My boys fought to the end and it’s a particular attitude that we haven’t seen in a couple of years,” Miller said.

The Coyotes are on a bye this week, then they will play Mesquite on Sept. 7, at 7 p.m. in Gilbert.

On the other side of the field, the Broncos were very happy with their play. However, according to Poston Butte Head Coach Dain Thompson, he will not be using this game to judge how his team will play the rest of the season because they have a very difficult schedule coming up.

“We play a lot of good team. We’re not going to gage what we did tonight against the rest of the conference and the rest of our schedule. They’re (Combs) working hard and Coach Miller does a great job, but I don’t think this is the same tier that we will see as we move forward,” Thompson said.

One of the biggest points of difficulty throughout the game was right after the weather delay for the Broncos, they didn’t come out with the same momentum that they had at the end of the first half.

“We didn’t come out after the huge delay very well, so that’s something that we have to work on,” Thompson said.

Thompson said he takes a lot of the blame for not preparing the team to come out after the long delay and continuing the momentum. He also gave a lot of credit to Combs for coming out in the third quarter jazzed and scoring 21 points.

The Broncos will play Estrella Foothills at home on Aug. 31, at 7 p.m. in San Tan Valley.

Overall, both Coaches seemed excited about having a good rivalry moving forward and are looking forward to next year’s game.