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Football Jordan

PREVIEW: Jordan at Chino, CIF Football Playoffs

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 Jordan Athletics is sponsored by former LBUSD superintendent Chris Steinhauser.

The Long Beach Jordan football team is looking to make a statement Friday night when the Panthers travel 40 miles to take on No.1-seed Chino in the opening round of the CIF Southern Section Division 7 playoffs.

It will be a welcomed return to the playoffs for Jordan after being on the outside looking in last season after dropping three of their final four games.

“We get to play a football game,” said Panthers coach Jon Nielsen in the simplest terms. “They’ve never seen anything like we run, so–all I know is we’re gonna make some noise. So that’s kind of the fun part of it, right?”

The Panthers are ready to be back in the playoffs and are looking to spark another run just like they did in 2021 when they made it to the CIF-SS Division 11 championship game. 

This time around the Panthers boast one of the most prolific offenses in the state led by junior quarterback JJ Nielsen and senior running back Jordan Washington.

That dynamic has kept defenses honest, and Jordan looks to keep the undefeated Cowboys guessing.

Chino, the Sierra League champ, has a high-powered offense averaging 39 points a game and has proven that they can do a little bit of everything with dual-threat quarterback Diego Ogata. 

The senior athlete does a bit of everything for Chino and has amassed 1,100 yards passing and 1,100 yards and accounted for 26 touchdowns. Ogata will also see time on defense and will look to help keep the Panthers offense at bay. 

Along with Ogata, senior Nathan Blanco has rushed for 1,215 yards and has scored 20 touchdowns.

Defensively, Jordan will need to stop the run – while offensively they will need to keep the defense honest by featuring Jordan Washington so Nielsen can attack the Chino secondary with their receiving core of Jake Bautista, Deontae Tucker, Donovin Randolph, and Gerald Pickens who all have more than 20 receptions.

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Matt Simon
Matt Simon has been covering sports since 2013. After graduating from Long Beach State, he has covered sports for multiple publications throughout Southern California.