R31 8763 Scaled
Football Jordan Lakewood

PREVIEW: Jordan vs. Lakewood, Football

The562’s coverage of football in 2023-24 is sponsored in part by the MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center Foundation and Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital Foundation.

The562’s coverage of Lakewood Athletics is sponsored by J.P. Crawford, Class of 2013

Jordan will be looking for some revenge on Friday night when Lakewood visits for a key Moore League football matchup. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Last year was a real sliding doors moment for both programs when Lakewood beat Jordan 31-18 while forcing four turnovers. That victory went a long way in helping the third-pace Lancers make the CIF Southern Section playoffs while leaving the fifth-place Panthers out. Lakewood went on to reach the Division 8 championship game.

Jordan (4-1, 0-1) is coming off its first loss of the season against Millikan, and it was certainly an emotional night at Jordan so the Panthers will have to keep that same energy against a confident Lancers squad.

Lakewood (2-4, 1-1) got a league win under its belt against Cabrillo last week, and coach Justin Utupo said his team took a lot of good things from their loss to Long Beach Poly. The Lancers trailed 21-13 at halftime before the Jackrabbits pulled away.

Monthly Subscribers to The562

By The562 Network Inc

The Lancers defense has held its opponents to 10 or fewer points in two of the last three games while forcing 13 turnovers this season, but they’ll have their hands full with Jordan’s high-paced offensive attack.

Jordan quarterback Jarret “J.J.” Nielsen is averaging 316.4 yards passing and 109.8 yards rushing this season, according to MaxPreps. The junior has 12 passing touchdowns to Jake Bautista, Donovin Randolph and Deonte Tucker, plus five rushing touchdowns of his own.

“With a quarterback who can hurt us with his arm and his legs, we have to have a game plan to do our best to contain him,” Lakewood coach Justin Utupo said. “But at the end of the day we know they’re going to make their plays, we’re going to make our plays. If we play disciplined Red Swarm football we’ll be just fine.”

Utupo has started coordinating the offense and calling the plays a couple weeks ago, and it’s done wonders for quarterback Kade Casillas who looks better every Friday. He has completed almost 70 percent of his passes with five touchdowns in the last two games.

Lakewood wide receiver J.T. Dacoud has been the favorite target with 32 catches for 522 yards and six touchdowns. The Lancers are averaging over seven yards per carry as a team.

For Jordan’s rushing attack, running back Jordan Washington will be looking to bounce back from a tough night against Millikan, but he’s still averaging eight yards per carry and four touchdowns. The Panthers offensive front will have to keep tabs on Lakewood linebacker Tyree McCowen who has 79 total tacks (46 solo) and seven tackles for loss.

Jordan hasn’t beaten Lakewood since 2008, and the Lancers have won those 13 games by an average score of 37-16.

Football: Lakewood Beats Jordan In Key Playoff Matchup

Monthly Subscribers to The562

By The562 Network Inc

JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.