Foothill High quarterback Jayden Gordon runs the ball against Paradise Friday night in the Redding Rancheria Game of the Week. Gordon ran for five touchdowns in the loss. (Photo by Mike Daly)
Taking a loss is always tough. When you account for five touchdowns in that defeat, it’s downright brutal.
Foothill High quarterback Jayden Gordon had no shortage of jaw-dropping plays or show-stopping runs during Friday night’s 43-40 homecoming loss to Paradise in the Redding Rancheria Game of the Week. Gordon threw for 99 yards, ran for 172 yards and five touchdowns and the Cougars still came up short. Despite the loss, the performance was worthy of earning the Shasta County Sports Player of the Game, presented by Tri Counties Bank .
The stat sheet might say Gordon rushed 25 times for 172 yards, but he might have logged 10 miles Friday night in the loss between lateral movements of running around tacklers and playing safety on defense. He is, after all, a track-star, and showcased his talents once again to show why he entered the week as the Eastern Athletic League rushing leader.
“That No. 10 is a superstar,” Paradise head coach Rick Prinz said. For those of you who haven’t been following North State football recently, that kind of praise from Prinz — one of the most successful coaches in Northern Section history — that’s a big deal.
Gordon’s touchdown runs came on gains of 15, 13, 16, 51 and 7. He was set up for a sixth late in the fourth at the 1-yard line which would have put the Cougars ahead by two scores, but a bad snap interrupted the rhythm of the play and he was sacked for a loss (which goes against his total).
Just since 2010, there have only been two other quarterbacks in Shasta County who have able to run around defenders to get the corner and break away for a long run – Shasta’s Clay Cavender in 2010 and Enterprise’s Justin Abney in 2014. What makes Gordon stand out is his 6-foot-2 frame while those two were sub 5-foot-10.
Gordon has around 640 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on the season.
Bryce Henderson, RB, Foothill, Jr.
Chris Ostergren, WR/DB, Foothill, Jr.
Brandon Merryman, WR/DB, Foothill, Jr.
Tri Counties Bank Player of the Game
Week 0 — West Valley 16, Foothill 0 — Bailey Sulzer, RB/LB, West Valley, Sr.
Week 1 — Enterprise 35, West Valley 14 — Leslie Cummings, QB/DB, Enterprise, Sr.
Week 2 — U-Prep 15, Clear Lake 0 — U-Prep defense
Week 3 — Eureka 62, Shasta 14 — Alec Meek, RB, Shasta, Sr.