The Chandler Wolves’ dynamic offense came out firing on all cylinders Friday night against the Perry Pumas, scoring touchdowns on their first five possessions of the game.
The fast start was imperative for the Wolves, who fended off a late comeback by the Pumas and held on for the 44-35 win at Perry High School.
“I thought they played really well. I was not real happy with the lack of focus in putting the game away,” Chandler coach Shaun Aguano said.
Chandler took a 34-14 lead into halftime and came out just as strong to start the second half. On the team’s first offensive play of the third quarter, Jacob Conover threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Gunner Romney to make it four-score game.
But, the Pumas responded right back. Brock Purdy hit Nate James from 68 yards out to cut the lead to 20. Perry would tack two more touchdowns on in the final two quarters, but it would not be enough to catch the Wolves.
“They fought back and we made a few mistakes and penalties,” Aguano said. “It gets frustrating a little bit.”
Conover finished the night 12-of-19 for 287 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Despite his youth, the sophomore has excelled under center this year and he’s surrounded by weapons.
TJ Green had 27 carries for 138 yards and a touchdown Friday. He also had a touchdown reception. Ryan Johnson carried the ball 10 times for 94 yards and a touchdown. In addition, he returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, a big play that helped jumpstart the offense.
“When I got the ball I saw a big ol’ hole,” Johnson said. “So I hit it and went straight for the end zone.”
Johnson said the offense, which had four different players reach the end zone Friday, feeds off each other.
“We all get excited when someone scores,” he said. “And when someone makes a big play we’re all there to gather around and celebrate.”
Chandler improves to 6-2 on the year and Friday marked the team’s fourth straight win since the stunning 52-7 loss to Mountain Pointe on September 8. Johnson said the loss has served as a big motivator in the second half of the season.
“It was a humble pie,” he said. “We thought we were the big, bad dogs in Arizona so that really humbled us. We learned from that game. From now on, we’ve got to be physical and fast each and every play.”
The Wolves enter a bye week before two big division showdowns against Brophy Prep (7-1) and rival Hamilton (5-2) to end the season.
“I set the season up like that,” Aguano said. “We’re going to be ready coming into playoff time.”