Herriman • Practice was more intense for Jordan this week. After three straight losses, the defending Class 5A state champions practiced with a purpose in preparation for Friday's preseason finale at Herriman.
The extra work paid off, as Jordan got back on track with a 49-27 victory over the Mustangs. Clay Moss rushed for 275 yards and three touchdowns, as the Beetdiggers ended a tough preseason at 2-3.
"We were sick of losing," Moss said. "We actually scored in the red zone and played with heart, which had been missing. We really needed [the win] for our confidence. We're going to start rolling from here on out."
Jordan clung to a 28-24 lead late in the third quarter before Moss scored his second touchdown to trigger a 21-3 scoring spree. The senior iced the game with an 80-yard scoring run with just over 2 minutes remaining to play.
"We had a really good week of practice and we need to put weeks like that together to get where we need to be," Jordan coach Eric Kjar said. "As we looked at our preseason schedule, we knew that going into it with a young team we might take a few lumps early on. Hopefully we continue to improve."
The Beetdiggers had been outscored 153-68 over the last three weeks, but held their own on defense. It helped that Herriman was missing top rusher Brandon Farmer, who was injured during last week's game against Lone Peak. The Mustangs (2-3) still rushed for 297 yards, but were limited to three touchdowns and a pair of field goals by Colt Andolsek.
"We knew we could do it all along," said Moss, who was helped to the sidelines in the first quarter before returning.
"The defense is continuing to try and get better," Kjar added. "We've got a lot of holes, but every team does. We're getting guys into spots and filling them."
Meanwhile, Moss and quarterback Austin Kafentzis were too much to handle for Herriman. Kafentzis was sacked a few times, but still rushed for 105 yards and threw for 234 more with three touchdowns. He added a rushing score.
"We sputtered a few times on offense, so we've got to clean up the execution," Kjar said. "We need to stop making mistakes, like penalties."
Filling in for Farmer, Kaden Hayward burst onto the scene for Herriman, rushing for 148 yards. His 37-yard touchdown run got the Mustangs within 28-24 early into the third quarter before Jordan rebuilt its lead.
With another win under the Beetdiggers' belt, Kjar hopes the momentum will continue into the region opener at Copper Hills next week.