HOMEWOOD — It took while for Mortimer Jordan to get its engines running smoothly.
But once they got into high gear, the Blue Devils used their size and depth advantage to score three times in the third quarter, turning a 2-point John Carroll Catholic lead into a 32-14 victory Thursday night My68 television's “Thursday Night Lights” game of the week.
Down 14-12 late in the third quarter with the Cavaliers driving deep in Jordan territory, the Devils squelched the threat when Spencer Crane intercepted a Riley Mara pass and ran it back to the Jordan 16. Quarterback Devlin Hodges then engineered an 84-yard drive over 2½ minutes, helped by 20 yards in back-to-back John Carroll penalties.
Landon Smith put the Devils ahead for good when he went up the middle, freezing the Cavs defenders with a stutter-step move and then darting through an opening for a 19-yard touchdown.
A minute and a half later after a Cavaliers three-and-out, Hodges took matters into his own hands when he found an off-tackle seam and ran 37 yards for the score, putting Jordan ahead 26-14 with 8:44 left in the game.
It was the third rushing touchdown of the night for Hodges, who has verbally committed to play his college ball at Samford, just a couple of miles down Lakeshore Drive from Thursday's contest. He finished things off with a 19-yard scoring toss to Trey Peters late in the game.
Hodges' passing numbers of 7-for-19 with two interceptions (one on the first play of the game) and 169 yards weren't earth-shattering, but he made up for that with the ground game: 14 rushes for 135 yards, just shy of 10 yards per carry.
Jordan (3-2) moved out to an early 12-0 lead on Hodges' first two scores: a 4-yard run in the last minute of the first quarter, and a 35-yard dash midway through the second period that was punctuated by a spin move that shook off a defender. The 2-point conversions on both scores came up short.