Jordan adds air game to Eagleville offense

Jordan adds air game to Eagleville offense

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Jordan adds air game to Eagleville offense

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EAGLEVILLE

Ryan Jordan won the quarterback battle here for the defending District 9-A champion, and will be coach Steve Carson’s fifth different quarterback in as many years at the Rutherford County rural school.

But unlike his recent quarterbacks, Jordan enters with experience. He started all 10 games at Cannon County in 2011 as a sophomore, throwing for 1,744 yards with 11 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

“He’s doing a good job and getting better every day,” said Carson of Jordan, who is one of two transfers from Cannon County. “Ryan came in with the mindset that he will work hard and get better. He’s had to learn how we call things. He never felt any pressure to pick his game up. He knew he had to step up and perform.”

Receiver Andrew Jernigan, who battled Jordan for the starting quarterback spot, said Jordan gives Eagleville a passing option the Eagles haven’t had in recent seasons.

“That’s good from my position,” Jernigan said. “We didn’t do that much last year. I think that will throw the defense off more. Instead of expecting us to run all of the time we can also throw it.”

The new passing game will be unveiled at 7 p.m. Friday in Westmoreland in a Week 0 non-district matchup.

Eagleville defeated Westmoreland in double overtime a year ago to begin the Eagles’ 10-0 regular season.

However, Eagleville already has faced more adversity than it did in all of 2011. A year after dodging injuries en route to an 11-1 record and the best season in school history, things have not gone as smoothly. Eagleville opens up the season with four projected starters out with injuries, including at least two linemen — Dallas Anderson and Isaac Haley.

Three of those starters are expected to return during the season. The fourth may be out for the year. Carson chose not to divulge all of the injured players.

Westmoreland, which is a 3A team for the high school playoffs, finished 3-7 in 2011. Longtime defensive coordinator Steve Harris replaced Jackie Kelley as Westmoreland’s head coach in the offseason.

Westmoreland, which bears the nickname Eagles like Eagleville, still runs the wing-T offense that Kelley ran in the past at the Sumner County school.

“Our kids understand that this will be a tough challenge,” Carson said. “Anytime you step up two classes it will be a challenge. Our kids understand that. It was a challenge last year. We were fortunate to win.”

Westmoreland went the past couple weeks not knowing if it would be able to play on Friday as the Sumner County Commission and school board had been in a budget battle. However, it was decided in a school board meeting on Tuesday to open schools today. The Sumner County school board policy is teams can’t play if they are out of school.

Carson said what was going on in Sumner County did not affect his team’s preparation.

“It never entered our mind for a second,” Carson said. “It was nothing we could control, so we didn’t waste our time and energy. All we’ve focused on is our game at Westmoreland.”

While Jordan may be new to the Eagleville lineup, Chris Hale is not. Hale is a three-year starter at running back, rushing for 869 yards with 15 touchdowns in 2011. He was inserted in the starting lineup during the season when Nathan Jernigan was moved from running back to quarterback.

“I’m looking forward to (the season),” Hale said. “I just can’t get too cocky. It’s going to be hard to take Nathan’s spot in the lineup.”

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