Two months ago the Jordan Hubmen dropped to 1-1 when they were beaten by 15 points by their 2A quarterfinal opponent Fairmont. Saturday afternoon the Hubmen flipped the script and did what most of the ‘experts' didn't expect and improved by three touchdowns to defeat Fairmont when it mattered most – in the state quarterfinals.
Jordan took a risk early in the game. At mid-field, they rolled the dice, and quarterback Jonathan Draheim picked up a fourth and short with a quarterback sneak. They faced a second fourth down and Draheim converted again – this time with his arm. The throw was low, but Noah Schmitt's diving catch for 15-yards kept the drive going. Draheim threw a much better ball a few plays later to wide receiver Marlon Wiley who put the Hubmen on the scoreboard with an 18-yard touchdown pass.
“Draheim can throw any ball that needs to be thrown,” Jordan head coach Bo Wasurick said. “He is the leader of the offense and does a phenomenal job. He played his worst game of the season in Week Two against these guys, and he wanted to make up for that.”
Wiley helped set up the Hubmen's second touchdown when he turned a one-yard completion into a twenty yard gain. He made a move near the sidelines, broke a tackle and moved his team into scoring position. Later Draheim threw a perfect pass on a slant pattern that allowed wide receiver Adam Kreuser to accelerate into the end zone for a 14-0 lead.
“We were running the ball well,” Draheim said. “We were able to throw the ball off that and were on the same page with everything.”
The Cardinals' defense adjusted and shut down the 2AAA champion's offense for the better part of two quarters.
The Cardinals' were driving, but an interception at the one-yard line by Jon Huss set Jordan up at their one-yard line. Ninety yards later the Hubmen were facing a 4th and goal from the five, but a pass into the end zone fell incomplete. The Cardinals countered with a drive that ended one yard short. They were set up with first and goal at the one-yard line, but the Hubmen defense stuffed a run up the middle then stopped a run toward the sidelines. On third and goal from the two, defensive back Schmitt made a one-handed interception. On two drives, over 180 yards were gained, but no points were scored.
“For the defense to step up like that says a lot about the kids,” Wasurick said. “We try to be a ball-hawking defense.”
As the teams came out of the locker rooms after halftime Fairmont's offense – which had started to click in the second quarter found its stride in the third quarter. They scored their first touchdown through the air but not before they converted a fake punt for a first down. Nathan Kallenbach's pass to Wyatt Quiring cut the Hubmen's lead in half. They would get within one point right before the end of the third quarter.
Two fourth quarter drives sealed it for the Hubmen.
“We knew we had stumbled a bit in the second and third quarters,” Draheim admitted. “We had to get it back together again and play as a team. That is when we play our best. We started pounding the ball. Our offensive line was gaining great ground, and that opened up the passing game.”
Running back Tariq Smith was the offense's most consistent weapon. He cut the line of scrimmage to bounce the run outside to pick up a first down.
That run set up Draheim to throw his third touchdown pass of the game. Kreuser ran a slant route over the middle and Draheim hit him in stride. The junior wide receiver made a move in the middle of the field to shake a defender and score from 17-yards out.
After the defense made yet another stop, leading by seven, the offense had the chance to salt the game away. They would convert on a third and long and then Smith would make the play of the game. Draheim threw a pass to Smith in the flat. He was surrounded by defenders but spun out of the tackle and ran all the way across the field to the opposite sideline, turned the corner, shook a defender and picked up twenty yards.
“That was crazy,” Smith said. “When I got that screen pass, I was getting ready to go to the outside, and a guy grabbed a hold of me. Then a second guy hit me, and I bounced off of the guy grabbing my jersey, and I reversed field. Nobody knew that I was over there, so it gave me an edge.”
Although they wouldn't score, the played allowed Jordan to kill most of the clock and forced Fairmont to go the length of the field. After the defense made one more stop, the Hubmen took a couple of knees to secure a 20-13 win and a trip to the semi-finals where they will face Pierz.