Jordan football coach Tim Wedlow knew his team still had a good chance at the CIF Southern Section playoffs, even after losing the envelope draw tiebreaker for third place and the Moore League’s final playoff spot. The Panthers were always a strong candidate for an at-large berth, because of their .500 record. But even with that knowledge, Wedlow said he couldn’t sleep Saturday night, and he wouldn’t allow himself to have hope until he saw the Division 11 bracket with Jordan’s name on it Sunday morning.
“I’m just sitting this moment, happy, I can’t believe we made it finally,” said Wedlow.
It’s Jordan’s first playoff appearance since 2015, when they got in by way of forfeits by Poly. The Panthers haven’t won a playoff game in decades, though, something they have a very good chance to do as they host Lake Arrowhead’s Rim of the World on Friday at 7 p.m.
Jordan is the No. 4 team in Division 11, which means according to seeding they have a strong chance to reach the semifinals.
“We feel like we can win some games, we feel like we can make some history,” said Wedlow. “We have a lot of speed, we have a lot of athletes–it would be great for us to be able to get into some later rounds.”
Wedlow said his team was hurt by the envelope draw, which put Compton into the third place spot. The Panthers beat Compton this year, and led Lakewood for almost the entire game before a crunch time mistake cost them that game.
“We felt like we belonged in the playoffs, so I’ve been telling the team they’re going to get in but I could see in their eyes they didn’t believe it,” said Wedlow. “Well I got to call them and tell them today, they’re excited and ready to go to work. They’ve never had that feeling before, they’re all pumped up.”
If Jordan can get past Rim of the World they’ll face the winner of Grand Terrace and Granite Hills in the quarterfinals.