KIMBERLY—He took the field and tried to do what he typically does, but it simply wasn’t possible.

Hampered by an injury sustained last week against Center Point, Mortimer Jordan quarterback Kourtlan Marsh was greatly limited on Friday night, as No. 4 Central-Clay County captured a 27-0 win that pairs the Vols (12-2) with Pleasant Grove next week in the Class 5A state championship game.

“Coach prepared us for Kourtlan not to play tonight,” said senior receiver Garrison McCleney. “He prepared us for Hunter Boren and he stepped up and did what he could and we played our hearts out. We left it all out on the field.”

Marsh, a senior who entered the week with 49 touchdowns on the season, was forced to share snaps with backup signal caller Hunter Boren throughout the contest. The ninth-ranked Blue Devils (11-3) were held scoreless for the first time in three years, and managed only 121 yards of offense. Marsh completed 10 passes for 77 yards, but was a non-factor in the running game.

For Central-Clay County, Quentin Knight accepted 22 carries for 118 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown. Jaidarrius McNealey ran touchdowns in from 6 and 28 yards out on his way to a nine-carry, 65-yard outing. Phillip Ogles went 12 for 21 through the air for 122 yards and a short rushing touchdown.

“They’re the defending state champs and they’re back in it again for a reason,” said Mortimer Jordan head coach Dusty Goode of the Vols. “You’ve got a coach over there [Danny Horn] that’s probably won more games than I’ve ever coached in or played in myself. If we weren’t able to win it all, I want them to win it all because they’re a total class act.”

Goode said Marsh suffered a foot injury in the second quarter of last week’s win over Center Point, and had been limited in practice all week while Boren took first-team reps.

"This group of seniors is awesome and this school has been a blessing to me and my family," said McCleney following the game. 

Erik Harris is the sports editor for The North Jefferson News. He can be reached at sports@njeffersonnews.com

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