In a highly anticipated matchup between Chandler (7-0, 2-0) and Brophy (7-1,1-1), the Wolves were able to defeat the Broncos, 49-0, extending their undefeated season.
In this week’s AIA Open Division rankings Chandler was ranked at No. 1 while Brophy moved up from 14 to No. 8 after remaining undefeated and defeating Hamilton by a score of 27-14 last week. Friday's game gave everyone a preview of what a first-round matchup could potentially look like in the first Open Division playoffs.
Prior to Friday's game Brophy had been playing well, but first-year coach Jason Jewell knew they would need to accomplish two things if they wanted to come out victorious against a nationally ranked Chandler team.
“Biggest thing is, and it’s happened all season too, we’ve controlled the football and not turned it over and we’ve caused turnovers on defense. If we do those two things, we’ll be alright,” Jewel said.
Unfortunately for the Broncos, they had trouble with both of these objectives.
The Brophy offense could not find any rhythm and was stagnant all game due to the high amount of pressure the Wolves front seven was able to put on the Broncos quarterbacks. After the first quarter the Broncos switched quarterbacks on almost every drive to no avail.
Senior quarterback Matt Winter went 6-of-13 for 28 yards and one interception and sophomore quarter back Elijah Warner completed 8-of-10 passes for 58 yards and an interception.
Chandler head coach Rick Garretson was not surprised that his defense was able to perform at such a high-level. In fact, he expected a bounce-back game for the defense after they gave up a season-high 49 points to Perry last week.
“That’s how our defense plays. Last week is not how we play,” Garretson said. “So that’s exactly what we expected. The kids worked hard, the coaching staff worked hard, Coach Knoche had a great game plan and we came on through and did our jobs.”
As for Jewell’s second objective, while Brophy was able to force one turnover, it was the Wolves that caused most of the turnovers in the game.
Senior safety Gunner Maldanado and junior linebacker Daniel Fulton each had an interception. On a kickoff return late in the third quarter, Chandler was able to recover a Brophy fumble after junior Emeka Ogbonna seemingly let go of the ball mid stride.
While Chandler’s defense was able to record their third shutout of the season, on the opposite side of the ball, the offense once again stepped up.
Junior quarterback Mikey Keene completed 17-of-24 passes for 228 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Junior wide receiver Jalen Richmond and senior tight end Jay McEuen combined for 10 catches, 141 yards and two touchdowns.
Keene believes that his relationship with Richmond and McEuen has not only helped the Wolves against Brophy, but also throughout their entire season so far.
“Just through the entire offseason we’ve been building a relationship," Keene said. "Those guys are like my best friends so we’re together every single day. So, I trust those guys and they trust me to get the job done.”
The Chandler running back duo of senior Daveon "Dae Dae" Hunter and junior Eli Sanders was also a force on the ground for the Wolves as they combined for 33 carries for 219 yards and four touchdowns.
“It was a hard work in practice, we did it all week, we prepared for it and we came out and did it on the field,” said Hunter about the offense’s performance against Brophy.
Next week Brophy hosts a dangerous Perry (4-3, 0-1) team that previously put up 49 points in a shootout loss to Chandler last week. Jewell said that the Broncos need to shrug this one off and play how they did in their first seven games.
“We need to get back to what we were doing before,” said Jewell. “Not committing turnovers, which we had two tonight, threw our first two interceptions of the season and being able to get first downs and move the chains on offense which we weren’t able to do tonight.”
As for Chandler, they will play the Basha Bears (4-3, 0-1) at home next week.
“We need to be disciplined next game," Garretson said. "And if we go through the steps that we do on the regular we should be fine. Just go out and execute, hard work in practice and get the job done.”
Chandler: 14 7 21 7 –49
Brophy: 0 0 0 0 –0
Chandler – Daveon Hunter 9 run (Peterman kick), 9:03
Chandler – Mikey Keene 12 pass Jalen Richmond (Peterman kick), 2:32
Chandler – Daveon Hunter 4 run (Peterman kick), 4:59
Chandler – Eli Sanders 22 run (Peterman kick), 7:54
Chandler – Daveon Hunter 1 run (Peterman kick), 2:57
Chandler – Mikey Keene 13 pass Jalen Richmond (Peterman kick), 2:43
Chandler – Daniel Fulton interception, 0:11