Mission Viejo, Calif. - For 24 minutes, Chandler went toe-to-toe and outplayed one of the elite teams in the nation.
Unfortunately for the Wolves, they couldn’t extend their hot start beyond intermission and were outscored 35-3 in the second half of a 52-31 loss to St. John Bosco (Calif.) on Saturday evening.
“We played really well (in the first half),” said Wolves coach Shaun Aguano. “We just gave in a little in the second half and I felt like we got a little gassed. You’ve got to put four quarters together and we didn’t do it tonight.”
Chandler couldn’t have hoped for a much better start. After forcing a missed field goal on Bosco’s first drive, the Wolves went to work. A touchdown was negated by a penalty on their first play from scrimmage, but junior quarterback Bryce Perkins (376 all-purpose yards, 2 TD) kept the ball around the right side of the offensive line and raced for a 63-yard touchdown, putting his team up 7-0 just three minutes in.
A Bosco touchdown drive tied the game, but the Wolves went to sophomore running back Chase Lucas (101 receiving yards, 93 rushing yards, 2 TD) to regain the lead. After Perkins converted a fourth-and-2 in Bosco territory, Lucas scampered 15 yards for his first score. On Chandler’s next possession, the Wolves went right back to him on a throwback screen and the shifty back went 50 yards untouched to put them up 21-7.
St. John Bosco’s offense was struggling without junior starter Josh Rosen, who was injured during the second quarter. The Wolves were able to capitalize, taking their biggest lead of the night, 28-10, after Elijah Sykes scampered in from four yards out on a nifty double handoff in the backfield. Braves backup quarterback Andrew Katnick led an important touchdown drive with just over a minute left in the half to keep the Braves within striking distance—and strike they would.
Bosco would score touchdowns on all five of their second-half possessions, and outscored Chandler 42-3 after the Sykes' TD run. A one-yard touchdown plunge from Bosco’s Manasseh Anesi seven minutes into the third quarter gave the Braves a lead they would never relinquish, and an 88-yard touchdown run from Sean McGrew put the game away at 45-31 midway through the fourth. Wide receiver Jaleel Wadood, an Arizona State commit had nine grabs for 125 yards and two scores for Bosco.
“I know for a fact that our kids can play with anyone in the country,” Aguano said of his team’s performance against a consensus top-10 high school team in the nation. “We didn’t get the outcome we wanted but it was a good showing tonight. I thought we played well.”
Chandler (2-1) returns home to continue this tough stretch of the schedule as the Wolves host No. 2 Mountain Pointe on Friday night.
St. John Bosco 52, Chandler 31
First Downs: SJB 16, Chan 20
Rushing: SJB 30-247, Chan 45-249
Passing (Comp.-Att.-Yds-TD-INT): SJB 20-26-229-3-0, Chand 26-38-246-1-0
Fumbles-lost: SJB 0-0, Chan 2-0
Penalties: SJB 8-85, Chan 9-65
Chandler 21 7 0 3 -- 31
Bosco 7 10 21 14 -- 52
Chandler: Perkins 63 run (Lucero kick)
SJB: Quintero 20 pass from Rosen (Budrovich Kick)
Chandler: Lucas 20 run (Lucero Kick)
Chandler: Lucas 50 pass from Perkins (Lucero Kick)
SJB: Budrovich 42 FG
Chandler: Sykes 4 run (Lucero Kick)
SJB: Wadood 21 pass from Katnick (Budrovich Kick)
SJB: Wadood 8 pass from Katnick (Budrovich Kick)
SJB: Anesi 1 run (Budrovich Kick)
SJB: Anesi 1 run (Budrovich Kick)
Chandler: Lucero 22 FG
SJB: McGrew 88 run (Budrovich Kick)
SJB: Anesi 25 run (Budrovich Kick)