Chandler runs wild in 54-19 triumph of Meeker

Keven Scrutchins
The Chandler Lions' John Marshall (58) wraps up Meeker's JJ Bloomer for no gain Friday night in Chandler.

CHANDLER - Running wild.

The Chandler Lions rushed for 367 yards on their way to a 54-19 second-round playoff victory over their Lincoln County rival Meeker Bulldogs Friday night.

“The offensive line will be our player of the week,” said Chandler head coach Jack Gray. “They played their butts off.”

Sophomore tailback Casmen Hill reaped the rewards of that effort, carrying the ball 23 times for 234 yards and four scores.

“He (Hill) is improving every week,” said Gray. “He is patient, strong and has an incredible burst when he needs it,” Gray added.

The Lions opened the game on offense and wasted little time getting things cranking. It took them just four plays to travel 80 yards and on that fourth play quarterback Kaden Jones sliced and diced his way for 54 yards through the Meeker defense. The Lions led 7-0 with 10:50 still left in the opening quarter.

Meeker, with a potent ground game of its own, answered right back with its senior leader, quarterback Caden Wolford, doing most of the work. Wolford carried the ball five times during the seven play drive and scored from 2 yards out to tie the score at 7-7 with 8:02 showing on the first quarter clock.

The game remained tied into the second period. That’s when Chandler started to open things up and Hill was smack dab in the middle of it. The Lions scored on a 12-play, 89-yard drive to go up 14-7 at the 10:10 mark of the first half. Hill ran the ball 12 times and caught one Jones pass during the five minute plus drive.

Hill scored from a yard out to cap things off.

The Chandler defense then stiffened, forcing a Bulldog punt and went up two scores on the ensuing drive. Hill scored his second rushing TD from 4 yards out and was set up by a beauty of a pass play from Jones to Darian Mahan of 41 yards to get the Lions in scoring position. Chandler led 21-7 with 7:24 left in the second frame.

The Lions increased the lead to 28-7 with 2:21 left in the half on Hill’s third consecutive rushing touchdown. This time the shifty Hill scored form 10 yards out. The score was set up by his earlier 43-yard beauty of a dash.

Meeker responded with a score at the end of the half to cut the deficit to 28-13. Wolford hit Zach Cook from 14 yards out with just five ticks left on the clock before halftime.

Meeker had a glimmer of hope, as it received the second half kickoff, hoping to get the lead down to one score. The Lions defense had a different idea.

Meeker got as far as its own 49-yard line on the first drive of the third quarter, but on a third-and-nine, Chandler’s Drake Rodriguez stepped in front of a Wolford pass and set the Lion rout in motion. Chandler scored in two plays to take a 35-13 lead with 8:01 left in the third and never looked back.

Jones found Mahan for the 16-yard pitch and catch to bump the lead up to 22 points.

Chandler scored three more times in the last 1:42 of the third quarter to swell the lead to 54-13.

Dalton Fowble scored on a 7-yard pass from Jones, his second scoring strike of the night and third overall with 1:42 remaining. Wolford was then intercepted for the second time by Rodriguez, setting up a 47-yard touchdown sprint from Hill to make the count 48-13 with 38 seconds left.

Fowble scored six seconds later, this time on defense, when he scooped up a high-snap – a botched handoff in the Meeker backfield with :32 left in the third, giving the Lions a 54-13 lead into the fourth quarter.

Meeker’s JJ Bloomer scored the game’s final touchdown with :11 left on a 6-yard score.

Wolford finished the game with 142 yards on 20 carries and one score.

The Lions will now travel to face the Marlow Outlaws Friday night. Marlow defeated the Bethel Wildcats 70-33 to advance into the third round.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve played on Thanksgiving weekend – since 2008,” said Gray.