The562’s coverage of Jordan Athletics is sponsored by John Ross, Class of 2013.
Playing quarterback at any competitive level isn’t easy. Every decision is dissected, and every mistake is amplified.
With that, Jordan sophomore Jarret Nielsen is growing into his role more each week as he plays his first varsity football for a team that went to the CIF title game last season.
After getting off to a slow start Thursday night, the sophomore ignited the Jordan offense in the second half as he completed six of his first eight throws, two of them being touchdowns as the Panthers defeated Irvine 48-25 to move to 4-0 for the first time in program history, according to school officials.
“I’m nothing without my teammates,” Nielsen said. “We got playmakers on the field. We got two good running backs and great receivers.”
While Nielsen took care of the football, junior running back Jordan Washington once again proved his big-play ability as he took his first carry from the line of scrimmage 50 yards for a touchdown to put Jordan up 7-0, 40 seconds into the game.
Irvine (1-3) answered right back, behind running back Evan Hasegawa who capped a 6-play, 47-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown. After some trickeration to two-point conversion attempt, the Vaqueros took an 8-7 lead.
The Panthers responded as Khaali Hicks rushed for 36 yards on the next drive and capped the 7-play drive with a 5-yard touchdown to put Jordan back up 13-8 after a failed two-point conversion.
After back-to-back punts, Hasegawa put the Vaqueros back on top as he scored on a 25-yard run to put Irvine back up 15-13 late in the first quarter.
Irvine extended that lead to 18-13 after a field goal with four minutes left in the first half.
After Nielsen completed a 12-yard pass to Deontae Tucker, Washington once again broke free for a 17-yard touchdown – his second trip to the endzone on four carries. The score put Irvine up 21-18 after a good two-point conversion.
Washington finished the night with 153 yards on seven carries with three touchdowns. Nielsen finished the night 12-20 for 218 yards and three touchdowns. Tucker had four catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns.
In the second half, the Panthers offense got going as Nielsen found Tucker for big gain and Washington broke free for a 27-yard touchdown.
The Panthers opened the floodgates after that as their defense came up with two big fourth down stops that step up Jordan’s offense.
Nielsen once again found Tucker who broke free for a 46-yard touchdown to put the Panthers up 35-18.
“We’re a big-play offense, we got to put drives together,” Jordan coach Jon Nielsen said. “I’d like to put more drives together than have big plays to give our defense more rest. I’ve never been involved with a team that has so many big plays, so that’s how good our kids are.”
Before Thursday’s game, Nielsen was named the Los Angeles Chargers Los Angeles County Coach of the Week.
“It’s cool, it’s about the kids,” Nielsen said. “For me, I could care less. For me, I don’t need that, I don’t need that pat on the back. But it’s good for the program.”
Jordan will have a bye week before they travel to Millikan to open Moore League play on Sept. 23rd.