Titans End Season with Tough Loss
November 21, 2020 by Caleb Gottry, Chandler Preparatory Academy
Caleb Gottry attends Chandler Preparatory Academy and is a member of the AIA’s Student SID program.
On Friday, November 20, the Chandler Prep Titans hosted the St. John Redskins in a 2A state play-in game and suffered a tough loss 14-21. Coming off of just two practices after a two-week quarantine, the Titans struggled to push offensively down the field against the bigger Redskins. Junior receiver Josh VanOrdt trained daily on his own during the Titan football quarantine and his work paid off in Friday’s game with over 75 receiving yards including the first Titan touchdown. VanOrdt said, “It was a great season and we’ll be back next year.”
The Titans took the early lead in the first quarter with consistent defensive stops and a passing touchdown from senior quarterback Reese Vilaboy to VanOrdt after a long completion by the same players. Seniors Daniel Peake and Sam Martin and juniors Conner Mason and Zach Romesburg all made key tackles including several for a loss. Defending the Redskin passing game were junior Noah LoBue with a key touchdown pass block in the second quarter and Vilaboy with an interception early in the fourth quarter. Head Coach Brittain thinks the Titan defense was the strongest part of their season:
“I think the defense was really our strength. The defense got better every week. We were gang tackling really well, stellar plays by the secondaries, and really stout up front, so I think the defense was really the strength of our team.”
The Redskins picked up their offensive momentum starting in the second quarter with a powerful downhill run game, eventually putting the Titans behind 21-7 with 5:30 left in the fourth quarter. A kick return and a Redskin personal foul put the Titans on their own 40-yard line. Almost getting sacked, Vilaboy targeted senior running back Aiden Daly with a short pass which he ran in for the 60-yard touchdown, putting the score at 14-21 after a successful point-after kick.
Immediately following the touchdown, junior kicker Ali Mahmood executed an onside kick that junior Sam Davis recovered for the Titans. Unfortunately, Chandler Prep could not convert this into a touchdown, and after a disputed Redskin fumble recovery, St. John’s ran out the clock to clinch the victory. Brittain said this about the struggles the Titans faced:
“I think that hands down, we just couldn’t run the ball. They were bigger and stronger than us up front and we couldn’t run the ball, so it makes you have to rely on the pass which we’re not used to and it’s tough. That was the biggest problem. The defense really battled, these guys made some great plays, and they took care of the ball for the most part, but not being able to run the ball was killer.”
The Titans graduate six seniors this year and hope to fight for a seed at state next year when they return to the field. Titan Up.