A rivalry that went through a two-year hiatus is back better than ever. In a game that saw three lead changes in the second half, Columbus High rallied and stood tall on a late goal line stand to defeat Jordan 29-27 in the 104th meeting between the two teams Friday night.
Trailing 14-9 entering the second half, Columbus didn't make things easier on itself. After a three-and-out on the opening possession of the half, the Blue Devils had to punt away giving the ball right back to Jordan.
The Red Jackets made things even harder for the Blue Devils scoring a touchdown on a five-yard jet sweep run by Javante West to make it a 21-9 Jordan lead with 6:01 to play in the third quarter.
From there, junior quarterback Derrick James took over the game for Columbus. On the proceeding drive, James took the Blue Devils 55 yards on five plays to cut the lead down to 21-16. On the drive, James was 4-for-4 with 49 yard passing.
After Columbus' defense held Jordan to a three-and-out on the next drive, James found Raymond Cochran on an 80-yard screen touchdown pass giving the Blue Devils their first lead of the game at 22-21 with 4:11 showing on the clock in the third quarter.
Jordan didn't panic however, sticking to the ground game moving the ball 40-yards over two-minutes and took the game into the fourth quarter.
On the opening play of the quarter, Kimbrough rolled out of the pocket on a quarterback keeper and got a great block that sprung him free racing 60-yards for the score to put the Red Jackets back in the lead.
Jordan's two-point conversion attempt was no good giving the Red Jackets a 27-22 lead.
It was then Columbus' turn to show their toughness beginning their next drive on their own 41-yard line with time slowly running out.
Jordan was just one play from forcing a Blue Devil bunt but on the key third down play, James scrambled out of the pocket for 14 yards to keep the drive going.
James continued to run out of the pocket for positive yards until he found Lowery for a 17-yard pass that put the Blue Devils on the 10-yard line.
After three plays that didn't result in much, Columbus head coach Phil Marino decided to go for the win on a fourth-and-goal play that saw James find Lowery on a slant pass in the end zone.
With six minutes to play with and down 29-27, Jordan still had a chance for the win.
Like James, Jordan's quarterback Romello Kimbrough kept making plays with his feet for the Red Jackets. He had two rushes for 10 yards helping move the ball into Columbus territory.
With the ball on the 42, Griggs took a handoff and broke free and racing towards the end zone. He was just three-yards short when a Columbus defender tripped him up to save the score.
With the game up in the air, Columbus' defense held strong keeping Kimbrough out of the end zone on four plays to preserve the lead. Jordan would have one more chance to win the game but its final
attempt ended in an interception.
In the second half alone, James was 8-for-12 for the Blue Devils and rushed for 25 yards.
Friday at Kinnett
Columbus 0 9 13 7--29
Jordan 0 14 7 6--27
J: Romello Kimbrough 3-yard run (Javante West Kick Good); 7:39
C: Derrick James 3-yard run (Ryan Anderson kick blocked); 2:34
J: Tim Griggs 76-yard run (West Kick Good); 2:09
C: Anderson 27-yard field goal; 0:55
J: West 5-yard run (West Kick Good); 6:01
C: Will Lowery 4-yard pass from James (Anderson Kick Good); 4:11
C: Raymond Cochran 80-yard pass from James (Anderson Kick Blocked); 1:25
J: Kimbrough 60-yard run (run no good); 11:44
C: Lowery 10-yard pass from James (Anderson Kick Good); 6:21
Team Records: Columbus: 1-0; Jordan: 0-1 Next: Columbus vs. Brookstone, Sept. 5, 7:30 p.m. at Kinnett; Jordan vs. Hardaway, Sept. 4, 7:00 p.m. at Memorial.