By Caleb Gottry
The Chandler Prep Titans established their dominance in varsity football for the first time in CPA history against the Knights from Tempe Prep. After two convincing victories on the road, the Titans returned to their home turf for their last regular season game. Led by strong senior contributions on Chandler Prep’s Senior Night, the Titans worked hard for an early lead in the first half and then continued to drive up and down the field and put pressure on the Knights for the remainder of Friday night’s game.
Seniors Izzat Mansour and Ryan Shahriari both had large contributions on defense and offense throughout the game. Mansour rushed for eight first downs using both his speed and strength against the outplayed Knights defense. He also performed well on defense, forcing Tempe to punt on multiple occasions with quick and well-executed tackles. Shahriari made multi-faceted contributions on offense with receptions and valuable rushing yards, often setting the team up in scoring position. Following the Titans first touchdown, he was selected to kick the extra point and was successful in his one and only attempt on the season. His work on defense as a safety, though, showcased some of his finest moments. After a couple aggressive pass deflections, Shahriari earned himself an interception in the middle of the third quarter that set up a Titans touchdown to take the lead at 26-6.
The Titans lit up the scoreboard with 42 points against the Knights 14 points. Chandler Prep scored six touchdowns and converted one field goal by junior Carson Zilmer Recovering from a knee injury, senior lineman Jacob McJunkin lined up at the fullback spot and pushed in the first Titans touchdown from the one-yard line. Senior lineman Luke Mosiman also made it into the end zone after recovering a Titans fumble near the goal line and taking the ball in for the score. Once again, sophomore running Sam Martin worked in conjunction with Mansour to consistently drive down the field. Martin scored two touchdowns as he prepares to take the keys from his senior mentor running back Mansour. Sophomore QB Reese Vilaboy, having taken over mid-season for his senior mentor, QB Ely Sannes, threw several passes, including a TD pass to TE Zilmer in the fourth quarter, and executed a flawless quarterback option keep to take the ball down to the Knights 12- yard line. Defensively, the Titans put consistent pressure on the opposing quarterback, sacking him on several occasions and forcing one fumble.
Although senior Sannes still is recovering from surgery to a broken collar bone, he finished out the game on the field with his teammates, kneeling with the ball in victory formation for the last play of the game. Claiming a record of eight wins against two losses and a perfect 5-0 in conference play, the Titans are headed for the playoffs as 2A Gila Region champs.
Next up is Arizona Lutheran this Friday in the first round of the AZ State Playoffs. Go Titans!