South Fulton head coach Gwin Wood will be happy to see Bruceton’s Chad Jordan graduate this May.
Joe Shelton is surrounded in his 2007 debut with SF.
The 2006 Class A Mr. Football Finalist reeled off four touchdowns and 316 yards on 25 carries in the Tigers’ 41-6 shellacking of the Red Devils in Region 7-1A play Friday night.
The versatile 6-foot tailback took in scores from 71 yards away, 19 yards out and three yards out (twice) in the triumph at SFHS.
Over his past two outings against the Redmen, Jordan has been a one-man wrecking crew on offense, accounting for 743 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns after Friday’s numbers were added to last season’s 427-yard, six-touchdown performance vs. South Fulton.
“Is he a senior this year?” Wood inquired after the game with a laugh. “Seriously, he’s a good running back. I don’t think he hurt us as much this year as he did last year because we’re a better ball club now than we were last year.
“I was expecting them to come in here and blow us out but they didn’t do that, at first.”
The game maybe didn’t get out of hand in the early going, but Jordan surely made his presence known on Bruceton’s first drive. The highly-touted running back took handoffs from Tiger quarterback Jacob Edwards on all eight plays during the series, capping off the 79-yard march with a three-yard plunge to paydirt for a 6-0 lead.
After possession switched back-and-forth twice, Jordan again was the catalyst for a Bruceton drive that reached the end zone. He alternated running off left and right tackle, respectively, for a combined gain of 15 yards on the first two plays of a drive that began at the Bruceton 19.
Edwards then shocked everyone at South Fulton Athletic Field on the fourth play of the drive as the quarterback did not hand off to Jordan — as he had for the previous 12 plays. Instead, the signal-caller ran a bootleg for 24 yards.
Edwards added an exclamation point to the series with a 40-yard aerial to Billy Stevens as Bruceton took a 14-0 lead with 2:16 remaining in the first after Jordan ran in the two-pointer.
Jordan then scored twice more in the second quarter. With 4:10 remaining in the first half, he snuck up the middle from three yards out to put the Tigers up 21-0 after the extra point.
Later, Jordan scored from 21 yards out — or at least he thought he did.
However, a block-in-the back penalty against the visitors brought the ball back to the Red Devils’ 19. One play later, Jordan crossed the goal line for real as the Tigers led 27-0 with 3:24 remaining in the first half.
The Redmen showed some promise on their next drive. Alex Galien banged out six yards on second down before Hunter Harris found Holden McConnell to move the chains after a five-yard aerial hookup.
Three plays later, though, the locals stalled following a pair of incomplete passes and a sack.
After a South Fulton punt, Jordan kicked into high gear again with two runs for 39 yards in a drive that was capped off by a seven-yard reverse carried by Nick Bryant to cross the plane of the goal line.
At halftime, SF trailed 33-0.
As a parting shot to the Red Devils, Jordan bounced through traffic for a TD on Bruceton’s first offensive play of the second half from 71 yards away.
Offensively, South Fulton was playing without Jonathan Avent (bruised knee), the team’s and Obion County’s leading rusher coming into the game, and Sam Curtis (knee injury), a key lineman on both sides of the ball.
SF’s season-long struggles through the air continued. Harris was 5-for-17 with one interception, but those numbers could’ve been better had split end target Corbin Hawks not dropped numerous downfield passes that were thrown right into his hands.
Junior running back Joe Shelton — who returned to the Red Devils after a series of off-the-field problems — accounted for the Devils’ only TD on the last play of the game.
With the clock running continuously due to the TSSAA’s mercy rule, Shelton scampered in from 24 yards out with 2:23 remaining in the game.
“We knew he had the speed,” Wood said of Shelton. “It was just a matter of getting him into shape. He’s been working hard at it to catch up for the time he’s missed.”
Defensively, Tyler Morris led the Redmen with seven stops while Skylar Cherry — playing with a broken finger on his right hand — and George Garmon recorded six takedowns each.
South Fulton hosts Fulton County this Friday as part of homecoming while Bruceton hosts Fayette Academy.
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.