Bruceton, Jordan leave big footprints all over Tornadoes
By MIKE HUTCHENS, Messenger Sports Editor
Despite knowing exactly what was coming, Union City nonetheless did little to stop it.
Chad Jordan ran over, around and through a porous Tornado defense to the tune of 354 yards and four touchdowns, leading Bruceton to a 47-28 manhandling of UC Friday night at War Memorial Stadium.
The loss was particularly damaging to the Twisters’ hopes of hosting a home playoff game — a perk of finishing in the top two of Region 7-1A — and left Union City (3-3 overall) uncertain of even making the postseason at all after falling to 1-2 and to fifth place in league play.
The six-foot, 220-pound Jordan, a Class A Mr. Football finalist last season when he rushed for over 2,100 yards, was simply a man among boys against a woeful Tornado defensive effort.
Despite constantly stacking as many as 10 players near the line of scrimmage, UC never could slow down Jordan and continued its season-long struggles with missed tackles while also being dragged for extra yards by the bruising Tiger tailback, who nearly always fell forward for additional yardage, too.
Union City, which entered the contest giving up 371 yards per game, surrendered a whopping 527 in all to the Tigers and their simplistic offensive scheme that consisted largely of the straight-ahead running of Jordan in a methodical smash-mouth I-formation attack.
There was obviously no defending of his defense afterward by Union City head coach Jimmy Fishel.
“They came out and hit us square in the mouth like we knew they would, and we simply didn’t respond,” Fishel said. “Except for a couple of bootlegs, they certainly didn’t do anything we didn’t expect them to do. They were just a very physical football team that brought it to us and we couldn’t handle them.
“Chad Jordan is just one of those blue-collar-type kids, a throw-back. Their whole team is. They’re not anything fancy; they just hit you in the mouth and see how you react. There are no magical schemes; this game has always been about blocking and tackling and it still is. And they obviously did both of those better than we did tonight.”
Though Jordan, who has now amassed nearly 1,400 yards and scored 16 TDs in six games this season, was certainly the star of the Tiger show, quarterback Jacob Edwards also shined in a supporting role for the victors.
Effectively executing play fakes and either keeping on bootlegs or dumping the ball off in the flat to fullback Alex Matlock, Edwards ran for 88 yards and a touchdown and also threw for another 74 and a second score.
Union City, meanwhile, struggled for the second consecutive week to find any rhythm offensively, in addition to its defensive shortcomings. The Tornadoes did not mount a scoring drive until the third period and gained the bulk of their yardage (210 of 309 total) in the second half after the contest was already essentially decided.
“That’s two weeks in a row I felt like we’ve been out of sync offensively,” agreed the UC coach, who also admitted his troops were largely emotionless in the contest. “We’ve got to put together some personnel groups that can give us more consistency and better opportunities to put up points.”
Quarterback Brett White did throw for 176 yards and two touchdown passes, both to split end Taylor Bruff, who had the best game of his career with seven grabs for 98 yards. Kendrick Price had a three-yard TD run and was the locals’ top rusher with 54 yards on just three carries.
The Tornadoes’ top offensive threat to-date, Pat Polk, had minimal touches in the contest. Polk did return a second-quarter kickoff 93 yards for a score, the second time this season he has performed that feat. He finished with 39 receiving yards on three grabs and rushed for 14 yards on three second-half carries.
Bruceton jumped to a 21-0 lead midway through the second period and was never seriously threatened thereafter.
Jordan accounted for his first two touchdowns on runs of two and 30 yards, and Edwards skipped 35 yards to paydirt on a bootleg keeper to make it 21-0 at 7:11 of the second stanza.
After Polk’s kickoff return for six points, Edwards dumped a pass to Matlock while being pressured on a fourth-down play, and the 6-4, 260-pound Tiger fullback lumbered to the endzone to complete a 35-yard scoring play to make it 28-7 at the intermission.
A 24-yard run by Camron Sherwood and a roughing the passer call were the big gainers in a nifty five-play, 62-yard drive out of the halftime break that briefly got UC within 28-14 early in the third quarter.
White and Bruff hooked up for TD plays of 22 and six yards in the fourth quarter for the Tornadoes, the first after the Union City QB escaped major trouble and reversed his field before finding an open target in Bruff. Will Arnold was a perfect 3-for-3 in PAT to finish the Twister scoring.
Union City will play host to fell Obion Countian and regional foe South Fulton this week.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.