Some teams may panic when they get involved in a close, low-scoring football game.
For Queen Creek, it's right at home in those situations.
The No. 8 Bulldogs relied on their defense and got just enough offensive production to squeak out a 14-7 victory over No. 10 Poston Butte on Friday night at Queen Creek.
Queen Creek controlled the line of scrimmage, as Matt Guida (121 yards and a touchdown) and Shaq Johnson (91 yards) ran the ball effectively, and the Bulldogs' defense held the Broncos to only 75 yards rushing on 23 carries.
"That was really the difference in the game, how our guys played up front," Queen Creek coach Joe Germaine said.
Queen Creek went up 7-0 on a quarterback sneak by Carson Jones with 41.7 seconds remaining before halftime. Poston Butte had a chance to tie on a 4th-and-3 from the Queen Creek 25-yard line with 3:49 left in the contest, but Dean Martino's pass for a wide-open Kris Davis was a little high and slipped through his hands in the corner of the end zone.
"It was dang close, that's for sure," Poston Butte coach Mike De La Torre said. "It was right on his fingertips. Little plays like that, you need those to swing your way in these types of games."
"It seems like those balls take forever to get there," Germaine said.
The incomplete pass turned the ball over on downs to Queen Creek, and Guida delivered the big blow with a 53-yard touchdown run with 1:57 remaining.
Poston Butte finally got some offense going on its ensuing drive against a Bulldogs defense that was allowing the under routes, and Tony Hatfield ran in a 1-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 14-7 with 22.7 seconds left.
Queen Creek, though, recovered the onside kick to ice the win.
Even though the Broncos lost, they showed up much better in this one than last week, when early turnovers fueled a blowout loss to Perry.
"All we can ask for them is to give us a chance to win the football game at the end, and I think our kids did put us in a situation where we could win a football game," De La Torre said. "We came out here and we competed. If we keep playing like that, some of those are going to swing in our direction."
Prior to the final offensive possession for Poston Butte (6-2), the Bulldogs (7-1) had only allowed 137 yards of total offense. On the flip side, Queen Creek ran for 196 yards and threw for 156. The Bulldogs were stopped twice on fourth downs in Broncos' territory - once at the Poston Butte 5 - but the long drives seemed to benefit Queen Creek late, most notably when Guida shook loose for the game's only big play.
Jones finished 16-of-22 passing for 156 yards and was intercepted once.
Wide receiver Jason Compean had five catches for 65 yards to lead the Broncos offensively. Martino was 14-of-23 for 138 yards.