by Caleb Gottry
The Chandler Prep Titans ended their season with a tough loss against the Arizona Lutheran Coyotes in the first round of the playoffs. Unfortunately, the Titans were soundly beaten by the perennial powerhouse Coyotes with a final score of 55-7. Although giving up seven touchdowns in the first half, the Titan defense, never one to give up, held Arizona Lutheran to only six points in the second half. The Titans also managed to block two extra point attempts. The greatest highlight of the game, though, was a perfectly placed pass from sophomore Reese Vilaboy to junior Carson Zilmer for a 66-yard Titan touchdown.
Despite the disappointing playoff loss, the Titans’ regular season was strong with a record of eight wins and only two losses. The Titans also won all five of their region games. As the season ends, the Titans say goodbye to a strong class of seniors: running back Izzat Mansour, safety Ryan Shahriari, lineman Jacob McJunkin, lineman Luke Mosiman, and quarterback and team leader Ely Sannes. These valuable contributors to the Titan varsity football team will be greatly missed.
Looking ahead to 2019, there are some emerging leaders and strong performers returning. Leading receiver junior Andrew Cook will continue to be a threat to opponents and will be a valuable leader as a senior next year. Also, freshman Josh Van Ordt, earning his first varsity minutes in Friday’s game, could prove to be a problem for teams as another Titan receiver. Titans fans can expect some fireworks during the next two years out of the passing combination of Van Ordt and sophomore quarterback Vilaboy. Kicker and tight end Carson Zilmer, who will return as a senior next year, performed as one of the best kickers in the league this year and also proved to be a challenge to bring down with the ball in his hands. This weekend, Zilmer was named Gila 2A Region Player of the Year. Sophomore combination Sam Martin and Aiden Daly should be a force, coming back as middle linebackers and the primary ball carriers, and arguably most important, the team returns almost its entire offensive and defensive lines, including juniors Isiah Usher, Griffen Serra and Jake Hathaway, and sophomores Daniel Peake and Keanu Flores.
Also of note, this weekend Coach Chris Goodman was named the Gila 2A Region Coach of the Year. Couldn’t be more deserved coach.
Indeed, Titan fans have a lot to look forward to next year, but also must congratulate this year’s team on a fantastic season. Titan up!