Chandler v. Desert Vista

Wolves Gain Much Needed Confidence in 20-13 Win Over Desert Vista

The saying goes something like this, "What is pretty will not always work; and what works is not always pretty."


For Chandler, that statement says it all. On a night that displayed very little game turning, electrifying plays, the Chandler Wolves were able to beat visiting Desert Vista 20-13.

The 1st quarter consisted of a non-stop battle of three and outs for both teams. Neither team was able to get a 1st down in the 1st quarter. Action started in the 2nd quarter when Chandler blocked a Desert Vista punt on their own 10 yard line. Wolf LB Kurt Mangum caught the ball and ran it back to the 1 yard line before he was stopped. Two plays later, Steven Jackson found the end zone from 1 yard out to make it 7-0 Chandler.


After trading three and outs yet again, Desert Vista finally got the ball rolling. They returned a punt back to Chandler's 39 yard line to set up a short field. After a series of nice runs by Allante Battle, he took a sweep to the wide side and ran it in from 8 yards out to tie the game at 7.


Chandler would respond right before halftime. A good kick return deep into Desert Vista territory set up a 25 yard field goal by Tomas Farfan with less than a minute left. It put Chandler up 10-7 at halftime.


FIRST HALF: Both teams were sluggish offensively and found themselves going backwards more than forwards. There were tons of breakdowns on the OL from both teams, causing DLs to run free to the ball carriers. It was evident in the first half that whoever came out in the second half and controlled the clock and gobbled up some first downs would more than likely win the game.


Chandler did just that. They came out on the first drive of the second half and used up over 9 minutes on their TD drive. Chandler QB Payton LaCivita was able to get in a groove both passing and running the ball and played a major part in the TD drive. The drive ended with another 1 yard touchdown run by Steven Jackson. That widened the margin to 17-7 in Chandler's favor.


Desert Vista continued to struggle offensively as they could not get anything going. They tried going up the middle, they tried beating Chandler's speed to the outside with Allante Battle also, but nothing was consistent.


Tomas Farfan added another field goal later in the 4th quarter, this one being from 23 yards out, to put Chandler ahead 20-7.


As time expired, Desert Vista added a late touchdown as Bolena caught a 7 yard pass from Pembroke, but it was not enough.


Chandler did an overall pretty good job on the defensive side of the ball, keeping Allante Battle in check and keeping any big plays from happening. Desert Vista also did a solid job defensively for most of the night, but could not come up with a big turnover or momentum changing play.


The win puts Chandler at 2-1 as they get ready for Cesar Chavez next week, while Desert Vista falls to 1-2 as they prepare for Mesquite.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Chandler has an efficient QB, Payton LaCivita, who should be able to keep that offense going as this season progresses. He showed the ability to deliver the ball under duress and stood in the pocket and took hits all game long. Chandler has plenty of talent on the field they just need to put it together. Steven Jackson has great moves at the point of contact, and will probably give Chandler a big time opportunity in the running game.

For Desert Vista, DE Devon Kennard played terrific and looks like a monster amongst little boys. He was all over the ball all night, and showed great closing speed for a big guy. Offensively, Desert Vista was not able to generate any type of rhythm. Not taking anything away from Chandler defensively, but Desert Vista has to utilize that speed and talent in more ways or it might be a long season for the Thunder. That all being said, both of these teams are talented and loaded and will both get better as the season goes on. Two talented teams butted heads, and just like expected, it was a dogfight. (A legal dogfight, Michael Vick did not stage this one)

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