KIMBERLY—It was the latest episode in a season full of outstanding performances from Mortimer Jordan’s leading man.
On Friday night in the third round of the Class 5A playoffs, Kourtlan Marsh presented the Center Point Eagles (9-4) with a can't-win dilemma: Try to prevent the versatile quarterback from running, or stop him from passing?
Center Point struggled to do either.
Marsh rambled, scrambled and pitched his way through the visiting Eagles while guiding ninth-ranked Mortimer Jordan (11-2) to a 32-14 victory in Jimmie Trotter Stadium. The senior quarterback entered Friday night’s game with 45 touchdowns on the year—a figure which grew by four by the midway point of the third quarter. His final score of the evening traveled 28 yards through the air and landed in Garrison McCleney’s hands for a 29-0 lead at the 7:57-mark of the third. McCleney managed to cradle the pass in the end zone, despite a defensive pass interference call.
Following the game, Mortimer Jordan head coach Dusty Goode said he’s never had a quarterback produce the way Marsh has in 2019.
“Kourtlan is a much better kid than he is a football player, and he’s a great football player,” said Goode.
Marsh led four straight touchdown drives, starting with the Blue Devils’ second possession of the game. He started things with a short keeper up the middle for a 7-0 lead late in the first and later started the second frame by dashing through a massive hole on the right side, charging 28 yards untouched to the end zone. His third score went for 9 yards off the left side for a 22-0 advantage late in the first half.
Each of Marsh’s four scores converted third- or fourth-down opportunities. Mortimer Jordan moved the chains nine times on 13 third-down situations Friday night.
Defensively, the Blue Devils forced four turnovers, including three first-half interceptions by sophomore defensive back Logan Duffner. The last of those three picks halted Center Point’s best scoring opportunity of the first half.
He stepped in front of Jayson Jones’ toss into the end zone as the clock ran empty on the second quarter, killing a 12-play drive and sending the Blue Devils to the locker room with a 22-0 lead.
“I kind of baited him to where I wasn’t going to look that way and then I jumped up and was able to pick it off,” said Duffner of his third and final interception. “I was just able to read the quarterback’s eyes tonight. He didn’t do a very good job of looking off, so I was able to see the routes and kind of jump them.”
Duffner now has four interceptions on the year.
Mortimer Jordan kicker Ferram Sanchez forced a fumble and recovered it on his second kickoff of the night. That gave his offense a short field and resulted in a six-play scoring drive that resulted in a 15-0 cushion.
Sanchez also made a 26-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.
Marsh completed eight of his 13 passing attempts for 95 yards and a score. He also ran for 151 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries. Junior running back Jamyrie May ran for 95 yards on 17 calls.
For Center Point, Davis threw two touchdown passes in the second half. His first score traveled 9 yards to Jayson Jones, and he later went to Troy Bruce from 69 yards out.
Mortimer Jordan will host No. 4 Central-Clay County next week in the semifinals.