Prep football: Enloe squeaks out 14-7 victory at Jordan
There is a menacing, growling and prowling presence in Jordan’s secondary that goes by the name of Clayton Cockerham.
On Thursday the senior defensive back snatched two interceptions, and ran one back 95 yards for a game-tying touchdown as time expired in the first-half.
But it wasn’t enough to derail the mighty ground game of Enloe, which struggled against the Falcons’ nasty defense but squeaked out a 14-7 win on some fourth-quarter heroics. Eagles running back Anthony McEachin picked up 168 yards on 21 carries, which was more than double the Falcon’s total offensive yardage.
The Jordan defense stymied Enloe drives time and again, with junior linebacker Chase Cleveland coming up with another interception and a 40-yard runback, senior defensive back Marcus Speller and senior Elliott Boyd recovering fumbles.
“Our defense played lights out. We just couldn’t sustain anything on offense, dropping balls and not making plays that we have made,” said Jordan coach LaDwaun Harrison. “We really wasted a great defensive effort.”
The Falcons have been struggling “to be consistent across the board,” Harrison said. “We’d move the ball 15 yards and we’d self-destruct, jump offside or something.”
At no point was that frustration more demoralizing than with 1:26 remaining to play in the second quarter, with the Falcons trailing and being bottled up repeatedly offensively.
On 3rd and 7 from their own 30, the Falcons sent senior wide receiver Picasso Keaton wide right, and senior quarterback Matthew Gampe drilled a ball into his chest.
Keaton took it all the way into the end zone for an apparent 70-yard TD, but the play was called back for an ineligible receiver downfield. Someone had lined up across the line of scrimmage.
Deflated, and with the Eagles knocking on the door at Jordan’s 14, the Falcons needed a pick-me-up. That’s when Cockerham shone on his big interception.
“We felt like it was our mistake that kept us from scoring a touchdown [on the Keaton reception] so that got us back even and we were on the right page” heading into the locker room for halftime, Harrison said.
Enloe put a triple receiver threat to the left.
“I knew No. 3 [Antavius Marrow] was their go-to guy, so I kept my eye on him as well as everyone else. I saw him coming at an angle, and I just read the ball,” Cockerham said. “I had to get us up somehow, I had to get us in position to win this game, but unfortunately we feel short.”
Cockerham latched onto the ball, headed up the gut and veered to the right sideline.
“From there on it was no looking back, a track meet basically, and I won that track meet, thanks to the blocking of my teammates,” Cockerham said. “They looked out for me and I looked out for them.”
“He’s a playmaker from the secondary, and if we need him at receiver he’s a playmaker at receiver,” Harrison said. “He’s a playmaker wherever we put him. He’s a ball hawk. That’s the reason why he’s back there, because he makes plays.”
On his second interception the triple threat was lined up on the opposite side, but Cockerham said the switch didn’t fool him.
“I tried to return, but I took a helmet to the thigh and a knee to the thigh, so it kind of banged me up,” he said, still limping slightly after the game.
Enloe scored first in the game when running back Cameron Lewis took a handoff from quarterback Tyshon Hinton, swept left on a misdirection play, and trotted in 9 yards unmolested with :52 showing in the first quarter.
On Enloe’s next possession on 1st and 10 near midfield, Cleveland snagged his interception and put the Falcons at the Enloe 16 on the runback. Unable to move the ball even a yard, kicker Michael Tilley attempted a 29-yard field goal but missed.
When the Eagles took over, McEachin quickly gained consecutive first downs rushing. But when Lewis crossed midfield and fumbled, Speller snatched it up at the Jordan 43.
Enloe threatened again, on its first possession of the second half, driving to the Falcons’ 20. But Lewis was hit hard on a run and coughed up the ball, and Boyd jumped on it at the Jordan 15.
The Eagles put together a 13-play, six-and-a-half-minute, 68-yard drive to score the winning touchdown, a 2-yard burst by McEachin with 4:13 remaining in the game.
ENLOE 14, JORDAN 7
Enloe |7 |0 |0 |7 — 14
Jordan |0 |7 |0 |0 —7
E—Cameron Lewis 9 run (David Ogburn kick), :52
J—Clayton Cockerham 95 interception (Edwards kick) :00
E—Anthony McEachin 2 run (Ogburn kick), 4:13
RUSHING—Enloe, Anthony McEachin21-168, Cameron Lewis 18-52, Robert Gresham 3-18. Jordan, David McPhail 10-26, Chris Francis 14-9.
PASSING— Enloe Tyshon Hinton 7-13 56, Cameron Lewis 2-3-17. Jordan, Matthew Gampe 3-16 30.
RECEIVING—Enloe, Cameron Lewis 4-50, Trent Gilliam 1-10. Jordan, Victor Serrano 1-18.
Records—Enloe 1-0, Jordan 0-2.