Chandler Valley Christian took the first step Friday in defending its 2A state football championship with a resounding first-round playoff victory over visiting Willcox, 35-6.
The Trojans (7-3) next travel to Wellton Antelope in a quarterfinal battle Friday.
Valley Christian led by just two points at halftime, but erupted for 27 in the second half, while holding Willcox (5-5) scoreless. Troy Roffi, one of the leading scorers in 2A, added to his 98-point total with a 15-yard touchdown run over right tackle, capping an 11-play, 61-yard drive.
Later, Nick Longanecker scored his second touchdown on a 51-yard pass from quarterback Rob Brown. Tyler Gaab add two short touchdown runs to close out the scoring.
Early in the game, it appeared the Trojans would dominate Willcox, thanks to a safety and a Longanecker 41-yard TD run. But halfway through the first period, Willcox showed some muscle, staging a 19-play drive that netted 90 yards and a field goal. The Cowboys were helped by three Trojan offside penalties.
Valley Christian's next drive went 52 yards to the Willcox 8 before Tyler Gaab fumbled. The Cowboys recovered and on the very next play, Irving Quezada broke for 82 yards to the Valley Christian 12 — the longest play given up by Valley all season.