Offensive explosion puts Chandler into Round 3
Chandler racked up 524 yards of total offense and put up 47 points in the middle two periods Friday night against Meeker.
The result was a 54-19 victory that sent the Lions into the third round of the Class 2A playoffs.
The Lions visit unbeaten Marlow at 7 Friday night.
“Our offense played above my expectations,” said Chandler coach Jack Gray. “I’m very proud of them.
“Our offensive line did a great job. Meeker was moving around a lot, giving us different looks, but we’ve been focused up this week.”
With the offensive line gradually taking control of the game, Chandler relied on the running of sophomore back Casmen Hill and junior quarterback Kaden Jones. They combined for 387 yards rushing and fi ve touchdowns.
“I take my hat off to Chandler,” said Meeker coach D.J. Howell. “They did a good job and were the better team tonight.
“Sometimes when you’re a competitor and you’re in the area, you have to accept that things don’t always go your way.”
Jones got Chandler’s offense going with a 56-yard touchdown run with slightly more than two minutes expired in the first quarter.
Meeker tied the score following a long kickoff return by Zach Cook. Senior Caden Wolford put it in the end zone from two yards out.
That made the score 7-7, which is how it stayed until Hill scored the fi rst of his touchdowns in the second quarter on a third-and-goal play from the one.
He added two more scores, making it 28-7, but Meeker cut it to 28-13 just before half on a remarkable catch by Cook.
Wolford lofted a pass to Cook at the goal line, but Dalton Fowble apparently had Cook cloaked in airtight coverage.
Cook was able to tip the ball with one hand and bring it down between his body and Fowble’s, and then fell across the goal for the score, making it 28-13.
That turned out to be the high-water mark for the Bulldogs, though.
They didn’t reach the end zone again, and Chandler’s offense kept picking up RPMs as the game progressed.
“I thought it might a little more low-scoring,” Gray said. “But whenever Wolford and Cook are back there, those guys make a team even if they aren’t getting any blocks.
“They’re big, fast kids and that’s what scared me the most coming in. Those kids can break four tackles in one run sometimes and if you aren’t there, they’re going all the way to the house.”
It was Chandler’s second win over Meeker in a month. The two games combined, they beat the Bulldogs, 84-19.
“What’s happened in the two games we played them is that we kept it close for a while, then a war of attrition happens in the second half,” Howell said. “We start breaking down a little because of so many players having to go both ways.
“They’re giving maximum effort, but they’re playing 160, 170 snaps a game and in the second half when you’re playing a good team, it takes a toll.”
The game was the end of high school football for the Bulldogs’ seniors, who were freshmen in Howell’s first year as head coach and never missed the playoffs in their four-year careers.
“Those guys have won a ton of football games over four years, more than most people ever get to win,” Howell said. “It’s sad tonight, but they need to take a lot of pride in how good they’ve been for this long.
“Those guys and what they did for us allowed us to win a lot of ballgames.
“This season in particular, they allowed us to keep going. There was a lot of adversity and they didn’t flinch.
“They got us a playoff win and they can go out with their heads held high.
“You don’t focus on the last game, you take the whole four years together and there are a lot of happy memories and that’s what I chose to remember.
“It has been a pleasure and an honor for me to coach them.
“By the end, this team had given all they had. Sometimes you run out of gas, and I think they emptied their tank and did the very best they could.”