KIMBERLY—Mortimer Jordan defensive back Hunter Boren broke on the ball and put his pads on Jake Dueland when it mattered most.

The junior chopped Dueland down about a foot short of the first down after he pulled in a reception from back-up Cullman quarterback JT Blackwood on fourth-and-7. The stop gave the ball back to the Blue Devils (1-1) at the Bearcat 32-yard line with 1:08 remaining in the game, allowing Mortimer Jordan to kneel the clock empty and secure the first win of the season by a final of 20-17 on a brand-new synthetic turf field in Jimmie Trotter Stadium.

“I’m very proud of our coaching staff and our players and everybody involved,” said Mortimer Jordan head coach Dusty Goode.

Blue Devils’ quarterback Kourtlan Marsh experienced mixed results as a passer, but provided his best stuff for the final stretch of the fourth quarter. He put together the go-ahead touchdown drive with 3:39 remaining, as he converted a third-and-4 with a back-shoulder toss to Austin Morris which was followed by a 14-yard touchdown pitch to DJ Parks.

That score erased a three-point deficit and gave the home team a 20-17 advantage with 3:39 remaining.

“I wouldn’t choose anybody in the world over Kourtlan Marsh as our quarterback,” said Goode. “He’s played up and down, made some mistakes but when the ballgame is on the line, I want the ball in his hands.”

“I saw that the DB was playing soft so I just trusted my receiver. Austin [Morris] is one of those guys who will go up and get the ball and he made the play,” said Marsh of his third-down conversion.

The senior threw for 122 yards and two touchdowns on 10 completions and added a 3-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Marsh punctuated Mortimer Jordan’s opening drive of the second half with a short trip off left tackle for a 14-10 lead with 8:37 left in the third.

His first touchdown came on the opening drive of the evening when he rolled right and found Morris in the flats for a 13-yard score on the 10th snap of the series for a 7-0 lead.

Cullman (0-2) would even things up at 7-7 on the ensuing drive when Jaylen Hughey ran up the middle for a 70-yard touchdown. The junior finished with 98 yards rushing on eight carries. Senior Jayden Sullins ran with it 18 times for 63 yards.

The Bearcats’ second touchdown of the night came at the 11:08-mark of the fourth quarter, as quarterback Max Dueland connected with a wide-open Isaiah Jones on a play-action post. That toss put Cullman out front 17-14.

The Bearcats also led early after junior kicker Brody Adams split the uprights from 25 yards out for a 10-7 advantage midway through the second frame.

Mortimer Jordan visits Center Point next Friday in its region opener.

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

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