The recipe for postseason success has been classic and simple for Jordan football. The Panthers have run the ball, stopped the run and played better in the second half of all three playoff wins that sends them to their first ever CIF Southern Section championship game.
Jordan will face Northwood in the Division 11 final at Irvine High tonight. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
“We’re lucky to be practicing on Thanksgiving morning after all the hard work we put in after going 0-3 in the spring,” Jordan coach Tim Wedlow said on Thursday. “We’re just trying to make some more history.”
Jordan (8-5) has won six of its last seven games after an up and down nonleague schedule. Senior Jeremie McGurn thinks the turnaround happened because he and his teammates came together like a family.
“After all of those tough days at practice and fighting with each other… we came through it,” McGurn said. “We all love each other. it just feels great to be winning at Jordan.”
READ MORE about how McGurn found his way back to Jordan.
Northwood (8-5) is on a six-game winning streak and took the Pacific Valley League title this season. It is the sixth consecutive league championship for the Timberwolves, but they’ve never won a CIF title. This is their second championship appearance. Their first was in 2005.
In the semifinal, Northwood edged Vista del Lago 16-12 after beating Big Bear and Riverside Poly in the first two rounds by a combined score of 83-41.
The Timberwolves rely heavily on junior running back Adam Harper, who can play almost anywhere on the field.
Northwood coach JC Clark is familiar with the Moore League and coached at Wilson and Millikan before taking over the Timberwolves program.
Jordan will once again look to use its team speed to keep Northwood on its heels. The championship game at Irvine is also the first playoff game on turf for the Panthers, so that will only make guys like Damian Henderson and Jordan Washington that much faster. Washington has scored eight touchdowns in the postseason.
CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL: Jordan Football Made History This Season