Valley Preps

Jordan leaning on offense early in the season

Jordan’s Jaden Jordan is brought down by Brookstone defenders Drake Beck (4) and Jeremiah Burgess (8) during a game last month.
Jordan’s Jaden Jordan is brought down by Brookstone defenders Drake Beck (4) and Jeremiah Burgess (8) during a game last month. mhaskey@ledger-enquirer.com

The start to Jordan’s football season has been mixed. Both games have resulted in losses, and the defense has allowed 111 points.

But the Red Jackets have had their bright spots. The offense, for example, has shown that it can be a prolific bunch. Quarterback Daren Lewis has passed for more than 400 yards and rushed for more than 100 in the first two. Running back Aaron Maxwell has shown a strong burst in the ground game. The receivers, the unit coach Justin Newman says is the best on the team, has lived up to the hype.

In two games, the unit is averaging 26.5 points per game, and Newman thinks that number can get higher.

“We’ve been fast and vertical,” Newman said of the offense. “We’ve let them dictate what they’re going to give us, and once they do, everything else falls in to place. We can get better, though. There are some little things we can do to make sure we’re getting better on that side of the ball.”

At quarterback, Lewis, who is in his first season starting at the position, has taken to it quickly. Newman said he’s gotten better every day, improving his understanding of the offense and leadership in the huddle.

“He’s done a great job as a leader,” Newman said of Lewis. “He’s getting there. He’s still working on his decision-making, but he’s been a great leader so far and he’s only going to get better.”

He’s been helped by a receiving corps that might be one of the better groups in the area. DeAndre Snead was mentioned before the season has the x-factor on this offense. He’s got elite athletic ability, and has shown it early in the season. But it isn’t just him.

Jaden Jordan has made plays, and Newman said Lorzie Meadows is just as effective as Snead.

“He doesn’t have that elite speed that (Snead) has, but he’s just as good,” Newman said.

What Snead does, though, is draws so much attention from defenders, that he opens things up for the rest of the offense.

“Everybody we play rolls help over to his side,” Newman said of Snead. “He makes that big of a difference on our offense.”

Jordan faces Northside on Friday in another non-region contest. It’s the first of eight remaining games that are all exceedingly difficult. The Red Jackets finish the season against the Patriots, Manchester, Upson-Lee, Spencer, Lamar County, Heard County, Temple and Callaway. Those eight teams have lost just two games combined so far this year.

There are plenty of things Jordan needs to do to get on the right track and start winning by the time they reach region play. The defense, which didn’t have a coordinator until just a couple of weeks before the season, must improve.

Right now, though, Newman is leaning on his offense to lead the way, and a strong showing against Northside would only further validate what they are doing on that side of the ball.

“We want a good showing,” Newman said. “It’d give the guys something to feel good about before we get into region play in a few weeks.”

David Mitchell: 706-571-8571, @leprepsports

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