Midway through the third quarter of its 37-17 win Friday night, Jordan desperately needed someone to make a play.
The Falcons had watched their 24-8 halftime lead against Chapel Hill evaporate to just seven points. Tigers quarterback Grant Stough had led the team on two inspired scoring drives, and energy inside Claude Currie Stadium was waning.
So Andrew Hayes made a play.
Jordan’s senior running back burst through the right side of Chapel Hill’s defense for a short rushing touchdown that gave his team a 31-17 cushion — the dagger in the Falcons’ victory.
“That was big,” Jordan coach Anthony Barbour said. “They were confident, moving the ball on us. That score was big to stop the momentum.”
Quarterbacks Cameron Carrow and Isaiah Williams split time for Jordan and both led scoring drives. Hayes and Jonathan Cradle, a 6-4 senior, handled things on the ground. And Cradle and wide receiver Joaquin Davis both caught long touchdown passes down the middle of the field.
Defensively, the Falcons allowed just two scores and came up with some timely interceptions. In all, it was a solid bounce-back performance for a team shut out 10-0 last week against Northern High. But Barbour said his team still must shore up issues with consistency, tackling and blocking.
“We were fortunate to come out with a win,” he said. “We’ve got a long way to go.”
Still, the Falcons are 3-1 to start the season. Although Cradle wasn’t completely satisfied with Jordan’s performance either, he could at least indulge in that.
“Feels good,” the senior said with a smile. “First time we’ve ever done it since I’ve been here.”
RECORDS: (Jordan 3-1), Chapel Hill (1-3).
THREE WHO MATTERED
(Jonathan Cradle, Jordan): He played running back, wide receiver and defensive end for Jordan, and Chapel Hill rarely stopped him. Cradle caught passes over the middle, took handoffs and pressured the quarterback on his way to a great all-around performance.
Cameron Carrow, Jordan: The quarterback started and yielded some time to Isaiah Williams, his backup, but he directed the biggest drive of the game. After throwing an interception, Carrow led Jordan on a clutch third-quarter drive that ended in Hayes’ touchdown. He also threw and rushed for a touchdown.
Noah Walker, Chapel Hill: The wide receiver made a number of circus catches on the sideline for the Tigers. In the third quarter, he also intercepted Carrow to give Chapel Hill, then trailing 24-17, a shot to tie the score.
- Chapel Hill’s offense wasn’t doing much until head coach Isaac Marsh inserted Stough. The senior’s scrambling and throws on the run gave the Tigers a much-needed boost. Under Stough’s direction, Chapel Hill scored 10 straight points before eventually faltering.
- After Jordan scored its last touchdown of the first half, senior kicker Randy Mendoza chipped a great surprise onside kick, which the Tigers recovered. With less than 30 seconds in the half, though, Jordan didn’t do much.
- The Falcons and Tigers scored a combined eight touchdowns Friday night. But only twice did the teams opt for an extra point. Mendoza went 1-2 on extra points for Jordan, which failed on four two-point conversion early. Chapel Hill went for two on both of its touchdowns and got a short field goal from Luke Roeber.
JHS — Cameron Carrow passing TD to Jonathan Cradle (Two-point conversion failed)
CHHS — Caleb Clegg rushing TD; (Two-point conversion good)
JHS — Jonathan Cradle rushing TD (Two-point conversion failed)
JHS — Andrew Hayes rushing TD (Two-point conversion failed)
JHS — Isaiah Williams 54-yard passing TD to Joaquin Davis (Two-point conversion failed)
CHHS — Caleb Kelley passing TD to Noah Walker (Two-point conversion failed)
CHHS Luke Roeber field goal. 24-17.
JHS — Hayes rushing TD (Mendoza PAT)
JHS — Carrow rushing TD (Mendoza PAT missed)