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CIF Football: Jordan Can’t Stop Chino In 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

Traveling 40 miles to take on Chino, the top seed in the CIF Southern Section Division 7 playoffs, Jordan was confident they had a team that could compete with anyone.

With a game-breaking running back in Jordan Washington and junior quarterback JJ Nielsen, the Panthers were ready to make an early impression after missing out on the playoffs last year.

However, Chino’s physical running attack proved to be too much for the Panthers to keep up with as they lost 42-22.

“Some guys don’t have a chance to play in the playoffs,” Washington said. “So hats off to (Chino) sometimes you can’t be selfish and you got to give props to them for playing good. We never ever want to be cocky, and you want to stay humble.”

However, after punting on their opening drive, Jordan got a quick glimpse of what they were up against as Chino (11-0) went right to their game plan feeding Diego Ogata and Nathan Blanca as the Cowboys marched 45 yard in four plays, capped by a 4-yard touchdown by Ogata to put Chino up 7-0 in the first quarter.

The Panthers defense came up with some big stops and gave the offense a chance to answer back and they did just that as Nielsen found Gerald Pickens for a 30-yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7 with 6:15 left in the first half.

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But, as they did all night Chino has an immediate answer led by Ogata and Nielsen as they marched 69 yards and scored on a 17-yard run – Ogata’s second touchdown of the first half to give put Chino up 14-7.

It wasn’t a back breaker for the Panthers, as they had opportunities in the last two minutes of the half, but after a fumble recovery – Nielsen had a pass attempt picked off by Chino’s CJ Gibson and he returned it for a touchdown to put the Cowboys up 21-7 at halftime.

“You can’t put yourself behind the eight ball against a team that ball controls like that,” Jordan coach Jon Nielsen said. “That’s the best thing a defense against us can do – keep us off the field. They did what they were supposed to, we didn’t.”

In the second half Chino continued to dominate on the ground as they went right back to Blanco and Ogata who combined for nearly 300 yards and five touchdowns on the night.

Jordan continued to battle as once against Jordan Washington broke free for a 40-yard touchdown to cut Chino’s lead to 21-14 with 2:06 left in the third quarter. Washington finished with 158 total yards and two touchdowns.

VIDEO: Jordan vs. Chino, CIF Football Playoffs
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.