Over eight seasons with former head coach Shaun Aguano at the helm, the Chandler Wolves posted an 88-19 record and won four state championships in five years (2014, 2016-18). Dominating Arizona’s Class 6A and being ranked among the MaxPreps National Top 25 became a yearly occurrence with talent like first-round NFL Draft pick N’Keal Harry among Chandler High School’s alumni. Aguano is now running backs coach at Arizona State University under Herm Edwards. His first season saw Eno Benjamin be named First-Team All-Pac 12.
Arizona wasn’t the only place Chandler dominated, though. The program defeated Valosta (Ga.) and Miami Northwestern (Fla.) in the GEICO State Champions Bowl Series, which pits state title winners from either Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Utah or Washington against each other.
The inaugural addition back in 2016 saw Florida powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas defeat Bingham (Utah) in the first game. In the second, Georgia’s Valdosta High School went toe-to-toe with Chandler, but the result wasn’t exactly close.
The Ford Center in Frisco, Texas, played host to this matchup as Chandler running back TJ Green (now with the Utah Utes) ran for 183 yards and two touchdowns — Not a huge surprise given Green was Arizona’s Player of the Year, according to several publications. The game’s MVP was Chandler’s sophomore quarterback Jacob Conover (now with the BYU Cougars), who threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns.
Chandler rolled Valdosta, 44-24, and the Wolves converted an all-time trick play that’s still replayed today.
Chandler’s “Super I” Trick Play Touchdown
After Chandler jumped out to an 8-0 lead, Valdosta responded with two scores of their own to take the score a 9-8 lead in the second quarter.
The Wildcats never led again.
After regaining momentum, the Wolves faced a third-and-14 deep in Valdosta territory. Chandler broke its offensive huddle with all 11 players filed in a straight line. (Shades of Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan offense that same year.) The team broke into a five-wide receiver set, quickly snapped the ball, and Conover found tight end Aaron Howard wide open for a 32-yard touchdown before Valdosta knew what hit them.
Three-straight touchdowns and two forced turnovers jettisoned Chandler out to a 30-6 lead, and they never looked back.
“This was an absolutely fantastic experience for us here, everything first class,” Chandler coach Shaun Aguano said after the game (via AZ Central). “I hope that other states buy in to this. Overall, this has been the most incredible experience for our kids, coming from Chandler, playing in a facility like this and being taken care of.”Advertisement
In case there was any doubt, Chandler returned the following year to smoke Miami Northwestern, 55-20.
Great trick plays aren’t always game-winners. Sometimes, they just need to be wacky as hell and come on ESPN’s biggest stage with the world watching.