If Wilson or Jordan have any dreams of making the CIF Southern Section playoffs they must win tonight as the Panthers visit the Bruins with only three weeks left in the regular season. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Wilson (1-5, 1-2) has improved mightily since struggling against quality competition in the non-league schedule, and Jordan (3-4, 1-2) has looked a lot better on offense recently by spreading the ball around.
“I got this offense from Jerry Jaso,” Jordan coach Tim Wedlow said. He coached with Jaso at Long Beach Poly. “Everyone touches the ball and everyone can score. It’s not just about one or two players. It’s hard to cover us when we have all of our weapons.”
The most dangerous weapon for Jordan has been running back Damien Henderson. The junior has used his blistering speed to lead his team in rushing and is averaging over five yards per carry.
“I know (Wilson is) going to blitz us and try to stop Damian, but they have to stop other people too,” Wedlow added. “We’re going to get the ball to other people and let them go to work.”
Jordan is coming off a 33-14 win over Compton last week that snapped a three-game losing streak. Wilson looked better last week but was playing the wrong team to turn things around and lost to Poly 45-6.
“Despite the injuries and the youth we’re getting better,” Wilson coach Scott Meyer said. “I really believe we’ve improved each week and last week against Poly we did some really good things but we’re still making costly mistakes.”
The Bruins are getting some good injury news this week with the return of senior captain Detroit Afusia on defense, and big Bobby Mooney on the offensive line. Quarterback Xander McLaurin will also be back in the starting lineup after leaving the Poly game injured.
“He’s one heck of a tough kid,” Meyer said. “It seems like every week he’s banged up a little bit. Monday he’s pretty sore, but then last night (at practice) he looked as good as ever.”
McLaurin has been finding new targets this season, but was happy to see Josh Scott get back into the lineup a few weeks ago. The senior returned from injury and has a pair of touchdowns in three starts.
This is always a special game when Meyer is involved because he got his first head coaching job at Jordan in 2004.
“Jordan still has a little special place in my heart,” Meyer said. “I got to coach some great kids and got involved with some great families out there. Playing over here will definitely bring back some good memories.”
One of the most vivid memories is the 2008 Jordan comeback victory that was highlighted by the Panthers busting out the option offense in the fourth quarter with Moore League Player of the Year and future NFLer John Timu. WATCH VIDEO of that game.
This will also be the third time these teams have played each other in 2021 because they played twice in teh rescheduled spring season. Wilson has outscored Jordan 282-38 in the last six games.
Jordan hasn’t beaten Wilson since 2012 when the Panthers shutout the Bruins 28-0.
Wilson hasn’t missed the playoffs since 2014, and Jordan hasn’t made the playoffs since 2015.