5A football playoffs: Jordan rolls past Northridge to semifinals
SANDY — Coaches will always nit pick, and obviously Jordan coach Eric Kjar was disappointed his team surrendered a 98-yard kickoff return in the 5A quarterfinals on Friday.
That was about the only thing he had to complain about, though.
Jordan's high-powered offense racked up nearly 500 yards of offense, while the defense didn't allow a touchdown as the 'Diggers rolled to the 49-13 victory over Northridge to advance to the 5A semifinals.
Jordan will next face Lone Peak at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Thursday in a rematch of last year's 5A semifinal won by Lone Peak.
"It will be a blast, hopefully be redemption from last year. We're going to keep playing like we've been doing, keep preparing like we have and take it to them," said Jordan running back Clay Moss.
Northridge hung with Jordan for a half only trailing 21-13 at the break, but Jordan's size and strength both offensively and defensively simply wore out the Knights in the second half.
Moss and Jordan quarterback Austin Kafentzis had a field day rushing the ball against Northridge's undersized defense. Moss carried the ball 27 times for 169 yards and four touchdowns while Kafentzis added 188 yards and two scores on 21 carries.
"It was just running straight, right through that hole. We have the best lineman in the state. Anyone could run through those holes," said Moss.
As good as Jordan was offensively, Kjar raved about the defensive effort afterward. A week after allowing just seven points in a first-round win over Pleasant Grove, the 'Diggers defense only surrendered two field goals and held Northridge leading rusher David Adams in check with 73 yards on 19 carries.
"I'm really proud of our defense and how they've been playing these opening two rounds. I can't say enough about them," said Kjar.
Freshman Cooper Clark turned in arguably the biggest play of the game.
Behind Dayan Lake's 98-yark kickoff return early in the game, and then a couple of big fourth-down stops, Northridge's upset bid was still very much alive only trailing 14-13 late in the second quarter.
When Northridge recovered a Moss fumble with under three minutes remaining in the half, the Knights were in great position to potentially take the lead into halftime.
The opportunity to seize momentum dissolved quickly as Clark intercepted his seventh pass of the season and returned it 38 yards down to the 2-yard line.
Kafentzis powered into the end zone one play later to increase Jordan's lead to 21-13.
The second half was much of the same as Jordan scored touchdowns on all four possessions, while defensively it limited Northridge to just four first downs.
"During the playoffs we've been watching film after practice for like a couple hours, so we've been watching them and finding little details we can pick up on during the game. We've been getting really good at that and it's helping a lot," said Kafentzis.