For three quarters it looked like the Jordan football team was on their way to defeating Lakewood for the first time since 2008. However, in the fourth quarter the Lancers defense and special teams came up huge to create turnovers and set their offense up with great field position to set up the offense.
In the end, Lakewood made just enough plays as they mounted the comeback to defeat Jordan 23-19.
Lakewood’s Brayden Downen capped the comeback when he kept the ball himself and ran it in for a 2-yard touchdown to give the Lancers their first lead with 59 seconds remaining in the game.
“It’s crazy, this game was crazy,” Lakewood’s Brayden Downen said. “I though the game was over when I threw that last pick.”
With 255 rushing yards, Jordan relied heavily on junior Damian Henderson who had 16 carries 133 yards and one touchdown.
After being tied 7-7 at halftime, Panthers jumped out to a 13-7 lead after Henderson broke free for a 25-yard touchdown to give Jordan an early lead.
Jordan then added to their lead when Makhi Travis connected with Jacob Hernandez for a 15-yard touchdown to give the Panthers a 19-7 lead.
Hernandez continued his impact on defense when he picked off Downen to put the Panthers right back on the field.
After forcing a punt, the Lakewood’s special team came up with a huge blocked punt that the Lancers took advantage when Auggie Lyons scored from a yard out to cut the lead to 19-14.
Following back-to-back turnovers, Jordan decided to take a safety and kick to Lakewood to cut the Panthers lead to 19-16 with 2:20 left in the game.
“I’m proud of our players and coaches for making the necessary adjustments,” Utupo said. “Especially on defense, like I said before this game – Damian is an electric athlete, one of the best around. Our challenge on defense was to contain him and they ran the ball effectively, but we told the guys to trust the game plan.”
Lakewood’s Downen scored the game-winning touchdown after their drive was extended when the Panthers were flagged for illegal participation when 12 players were on the field after the play began resulting in a 15-yard penalty.
Lakewood (2-3, 2-0) is back in action when they take on Millikan next Friday and Jordan takes on Compton.