It was a dominating performance in all facets of the game for Chandler High School on Friday night, as the Wolves trounced Queen Creek High School behind quarterback Mikey Keene and running back Daveon Hunter, 56-7.
The duo wasted little time establishing dominance in the game.
Hunter scored three touchdowns in the first 12 minutes of play to give the Wolves an early 21-0 lead. The senior tacked on another in the second quarter to go along with a deep bomb from Keene to wide receiver Jalen Richmond to give Chandler a commanding 35-0 lead at the half.
“Some of these plays that Dae Dae (Daveon) is making, I mean, I can’t even explain them really,” Keene said. “He’s just a playmaker and he helps our offense get in the swing of things.
“He’s great, he’s a great player.”
Queen Creek had no answer for Hunter and Keene, as the quarterback showed off his big, yet accurate arm.
At halftime, Keene had completed 16-of-19 passes and had nearly eclipsed 300 yards.
“He’s a Chandler quarterback and that’s how they’re taught,” Chandler coach Rick Garretson said. “There’s a lot of preparation and he takes that job serious. He goes out and performs and does his job.”
The Wolves added 14 more points on the board in the third quarter thanks to big plays from both Hunter and fellow running back Nicolas Nesbitt. Hunter recorded his fifth touchdown of the night on a 55-yard run, while Nesbitt fought his way into the end zone from the 2-yard line.
Having control of the game, Chandler backup quarterback Cameron Beard took over under center in the fourth quarter.
Beard immediately led the Wolves down the field as Nesbitt capped off the long drive with yet another touchdown, this time from 1-yard out. An interception in the end zone by Domenec Scott with just under a minute left on the clock ended the game.
Keene credited the offensive line for their protection all night, allowing him ample time to find open wideouts from the pocket.
“The entire game, they gave me protection all night, and that’s the key to our team, really,” Keene said.
While Chandler’s offense fired on all cylinders, its defense got the job done, too.
The Wolves virtually shut down Queen Creek’s offense, picking off quarterback Trey Reynolds four times. The Bulldogs’ lone score came with 9:01 remaining in the game, as Dayson Coleman found his way into the end zone from 12 yards out.
“Our defense sets the tone for any game, and particularly for this year we’ve been working hard at that,” Garretson said. “I’ve got two of the best linebackers in the state. I’ve got Gunner Maldonado going to Northwestern in the Big 10.
“So when you have three seniors like that that are big time players, it makes things work.”
The strength of Chandler’s defense helps the offense on a daily basis. Come game time, both units create a match up nightmare for opposing teams.
“Our defense, they’re some dogs, they’re some hogs,” Hunter said. “They do their thing and allow the offense to do what they do. Together, as we play as a team, we cheer for each other and it allows up to put up a score like that.”
Chandler (2-0) looks to carry the momentum from its win over Queen Creek into next week, as the Wolves hit the road for the third week in a row to take on Mesa (1-1).