Each time he drops back to pass, Eastern View quarterback Till Butler considers his coach’s financial advice.
“Coach [Greg] Hatfield always tells me you can’t go broke making a profit,” Butler said. “With the receivers and athletes we have—if you get them the ball—they’ll do the work.”
So far, the Cyclones’ investment in a conservative aerial attack has paid dividends. Through eight games, the senior has thrown for 22 touchdowns with no interceptions, joining Chancellor’s Trevin Edwards and Colonial Beach’s Corvion Davis as the Fredericksburg-area’s only passers lacking such a blemish.
There was one close call, an ill-advised heave against King George that alighted in the hands of a Foxes safety.
“Thank goodness the cornerback pushed the receiver out of bounds, and it was [pass] interference,” Butler said with a laugh.
But don’t confuse Butler’s tact with timidity. Senior Alex Spangler is averaging more than 30 yards per reception with eight touchdowns, and the Cyclones (8-0 overall, 4-0 Battlefield District) have attempted their fair share of deep shots.
“I believe those 50-50 balls will come down on our side,” Butler said.
When he’s not under center, you’ll find Butler behind home plate as a standout catcher for Eastern View’s baseball team. The parallels between the two positions suit him well from a temperamental standpoint. In both sports, he touches the ball on every play. Calling pitches isn’t so different from making checks and adjustments at the line of scrimmage.
“Till has really operated our offense really well,” Hatfield said. “And it’s not just because we’re dinking and dunking. We’ve been able to throw the ball vertically and still be smart with it.”
Prudence will again be a watchword when Eastern View travels to Spotsylvania on Friday night. The Knights (6-2, 3-1) boast the area’s leading rusher in patient-yet-powerful junior Ty-Shaun Colbert, who enters Friday’s contest with 1,137 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.
Colbert racked up 240 yards and three scores on the ground in Spotsylvania’s 41-21 romp over Caroline last week.
“We’re not going to have as many shots at offense because they run the ball so much,” Butler said. “They’ll shorten the game. All of our possessions will be key.”
Balance might not come to mind when describing a single-wing offense, but Hatfield knows Spotsylvania is capable of attacking a defense in myriad ways. The Knights’ physicality—6-foot-5, 260-pound freshman Mathias “Mega” Barnwell comes to mind—also presents a challenge on both sides of the ball.
“They scare the crap out of me, to be honest with you,” Hatfield said.
Eastern View Statistical Leaders
Passing: Till Butler 52-84-0 (61.9%), 1,191 yds, 22 TDs
Rushing: Raq Lawson 77-519 (6.7 avg), 5 TDs; Ronta Robinson 50-411 (8.2), 6 TDs
Receiving: Alex Spangler 13-456 (35.1), 8 TDs; Chance Graves 15-319 (21.3), 5 TDs; Blake Leake 15-300 (20.0), 7 TDs
Interceptions: Blake Leake 3; Alex Spangler 3; Josh Logan 2; Drew Shurina 2; Dylan White, Chance Graves, Marshall Addo all with 1 each
Kicking: Garrett Hutchinson 50-53 XP, 2-3 FG (long 38)
Punting: Garrett Hutchinson 13-472 (36.3)