Blogs / Features
Les WillseyStaff Writer, AIA365.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Chandler offense accelerates in 2nd half to defeat BashaSep 14, 2012
Chandler's offense was 0-for-5 in the first half, 6-for-7 in the second half in Friday night's battle of unbeatens between the Wolves and Basha High.
That 6-for-7, however, translated to 41 second-half points, enough to overcome a 17-0 halftime deficit and just enough to outlast Basha, 41-31, in a Division I battle of Chandler schools at Austin Field.
Chandler (4-0) turned the ball over three times and once on downs -- all in Basha territory in the first half. The other possession the Wolves punted. They had a touchdown nulliffied on the drive that ended on downs. But despite those misfires they stayed with it mentally in the second half and finally beat a sister school for the first time in school history. Chandler finished with 566 yards of offense and got back the two scores its turnovers in the first half cost it by recovering Basha fumbles in Basha territory early in the second half.
"We struggled a little bit the first half with turnovers, it was my fault on one of them," Chandler quarterback Darell Garretson said. "We made some adjustments for the second half and got back to business. We knew we could keep moving the ball in the second half."
Chandler piled up 214 yards in the first half, but the turnovers blunted potential scoring drives. In the second half it was more of the same -- minus the turnovers. The Wolves had none in the second half.
Instead Chandler scored touchdowns on its first six possessions of the second half . The fifth TD with 8:57 left in the game gave the Wolves their first lead and the lead for good.
"This whole week we worked on Chandler, what we were doing and not what Basha does," Chandler coach Shaun Aguano said. "We just had to limit the mistakes.....
"Chandler has always had the talent. That hasn't been a question. We've tried to work on that psyche when it comes to big games. Basha has a good team .It's a privilege to beat Coach (Bernie) Busken, he's a state champion coach. We came out the second half and stopped making mistakes, and the defense played better."
Garretson enjoyed a great night other than forcing a pass in the first half that was intercepted and ended a promising drive. The senior completed 29-of-42 for 378 yards and two TDs. He rushed for a third score, putting the finishing touches on the 41-point half and helping drop Basha to 3-1 on the season.
Garretson had help with his receiving corps and running back Branden Jenkins, who gashed Basha's defense for 144 yards on 22 carries. Jenkins scored three TDs, two on runs and on on a reception. Of his 144 yards rushing, 113 came in the second half when the Wolves became more determined to run the ball.
Basha quarterback Zach Werlinger wasn't too shabby throwing either, He passed for 339 yards (27of 40) with one interception and two TDs. His favorited target -- Nate Phillips didn't disappoint with nine catches for 152 yards. None of his catches went for a TD.