Chaney throttles Boardman, 40-14
BOARDMAN — Friday night didn’t start the way the Chaney Cowboys wanted, but it definitely ended like they planned.
The Cowboys inadvertently touched a punt on Boardman’s first offensive drive, which the Spartans recovered and turned into a 25-yard touchdown pass from Tomas Andujar to Isaiah Torres. Then, the Cowboys fumbled on their first offensive play of the night.
Senior wide receiver Jason Hewlett jumped on the loose ball, and from there it was smooth sailing as the Cowboys scored 20 unanswered points in the first half en route to a 40-14 win for their second of the season.
“Getting (win) No. 2, regardless of who it was against or anything like that, we needed win No. 2 and we got it,” said Chaney head coach Seth Antram, who coached at Boardman last season and faced the Spartans for the first time.
After Andujar hit Torres for the first score of the night, Chaney marched down the field. The drive was highlighted by a 17-yard run by senior running back Jason Amill-Austin and a 30-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Matt Jones to senior wide receiver DJ Waller.
Jones capped off the drive moments later with a 1-yard quarterback sneak. After a failed two-point conversion the Cowboys still trailed 7-6. The Cowboys took the lead for good on the following drive.
As the clock ticked away to end the first quarter, Amill-Austin, who finished with 95 yards on 10 carries, slithered through the offensive line and snapped off a 41-yard touchdown run. Jones hit LeBron Donlow for the two-point conversion, and the Cowboys never looked back.
“Kind of the same thing happened to us against Poland, but we kind of settled in up front,” Antram said about the Cowboys’ sloppy start. “They came with a good defensive game plan, and we kind of adjusted a little bit as we went and capitalized on it a little bit.”
With about eight minutes remaining in the first half, the Cowboys were driving again. Jones settled his offense in on the one-yard line, but the Spartans came up with a huge stop to keep the Cowboys at bay.
“That, momentum wise, we thought we were right where we needed to be,” Boardman head coach DJ Dota said. “There was a point there where I thought if we could just keep running the ball and keep pounding the ball, we would be okay. But our own self-inflicted wounds stopped our own drives, and we can’t lose the turnover margin.”
Chaney forced a 3-and-out on Boardman’s ensuing offensive drive before Jones led the Cowboys on another charge. With 3:30 left in the half, he scampered for a 20-yard run before finding the end zone from 10 yards out a few plays later.
The signal-caller finished with three rushing touchdowns on the night.
“He’s a great player, but I can’t say enough about the senior leadership that he has around him that he’s leaning on behind the scenes that a lot of people miss,” Antram said. “He’s a gamer, but in practice those guys are constantly pushing him and working him, and he owes a lot of that to them and his offensive line.”
Andujar tacked on Boardmans’ final points of the game with a 5-yard touchdown run with 1:03 left in the third quarter. But the Cowboys didn’t let the Spartans keep the momentum for long as DJ Waller returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown.
Jones followed that up in the fourth quarter with his second touchdown run of the night, and Donlow put the icing on the cake with 6:35 to go in the game on a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown.
“They just play hard, and they play for each other,” Antram said. “You never want to lean on that, we didn’t want to get our defense that far down the field but these guys make plays and they stick together.”
Boardman was without star running back Fernando Ortiz, and Dota said they had to do other shuffling in the backfield, but said he didn’t want to use that as an excuse.
“We had to maneuver some things, but it shouldn’t have affected us in the ways that it did, but I talked to our guys and we didn’t bring our A-game,” Dota said. “With our schedule, you’re going to have to bring your A-game every week.”