McDonogh junior Joel Jorgensen went into Pennsylvania a no-name quarterback and left a legend. In a state that knows a thing or two about great high school quarterbacks (see: Rich Gannon, Jim Kelley, Joe Namath, Dan Marino, Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana), Jorgensen has been dubbed "Air Jordan" by a local newspaper.
"He may not appear in commercials or have a shoe designed in his honor," wrote Delaware County Times reporter Matt DeGeorge, "But 'Air Jorgensen' won't soon be forgotten by fans of the Haverford School."
Jorgensen's performance Saturday afternoon in a 48-21 McDonogh victory was indeed nickname worthy. He torched the Haverford defense with his arm (14 for 27 for 214 yards and three touchdowns) and his legs (eight carries for 119 yards and three touchdowns). He accounted for every Eagles offensive score. What's more, three of his six touchdowns came on fourth-down plays.
"I thought I did pretty well," said the understated Jorgensen. "But I made some mistakes. I threw nine incompletions and I did fumble once. But overall it was pretty good."
Jorgensen's record day was reminiscent of those put together by another great Eagles signal caller, Rudy Johnson. Johnson, a three-year starter who set numerous school records, graduated last year and is now at Buffalo. Many outsiders thought McDonogh's offense would suffer without him, but Jorgensen has all but squashed that idea. Counting his four-touchdown game two weeks ago against Gonzaga, he's now thrown seven touchdown passes.
"Rudy was a great player and he taught me a lot, but I'm not trying to be like him," Jorgensen said. "I'm just doing my own thing and playing like I know how."
Jorgensen (6-foot-3, 180 pounds) came out slinging against Haverford. He led McDonogh on a long opening drive that took up almost half the quarter. But the Eagles stalled inside the 10-yard line. Instead of kicking a field goal on fourth-and-goal from the 4, however, McDonogh elected to try for the touchdown.
"I took the snap and the play broke down so I had to scramble," Jorgensen said. "I ran to the outside, saw an opening and beat the defense to the end zone."
McDonogh scored much quicker on their next possession. After the Eagles forced a Haverford turnover, Jorgensen showed off his arm.
On first down McDonough ran a play-action fake from the Haverford 30-yard line. The defense bit and Eagles receiver Miles Crump (five catches, 113 yards) streaked past the secondary. Jorgensen hit him in stride for his first touchdown pass.
"The line gave me a ton of time and Miles was wide open," Jorgensen said. "Great play."
Haverford came back, however, cutting the McDonogh lead to 14-7 in the second quarter. But Jorgensen struck again. On third-and-2 from the Eagles 37, McDonogh called a quarterback sneak just to pick up a first down. Jorgensen surged ahead for the 2 he needed, but instead of going down he bounced off the linemen. Suddenly in the open, he dashed by the linebackers, broke an ankle-tackle and didnâ€™t stop until he reached pay dirt, some 67 yards later.
"I can run a little," said Jorgensen, chuckling. "I like to throw it more, but I like to think I'm pretty athletic and can do a few different things."
That made the score 20-6, but Haverford still wouldnâ€™t go away. They scored right before halftime, which meant Jorgensen couldnâ€™t take it easy in the second half.
On their first possession in the third quarter the Eagles methodically moved downfield, mirroring their game-opening drive. Once again McDonough found themselves inside the Haverford 10. Once again the offense stalled. Once again they went for it on fourth down. And once again they put it in Jorgensen's hands.
The McDonogh underclassman scrambled to his right, looking for a receiver. After a few tantalizing seconds Jorgensen found tight end Allen Jackson in the back of the end zone for the touchdown.
The Eagles defense then forced another turnover, giving the offense yet another opportunity. Jorgensen and Co. proceeded to put the game away. On first down from the Haverford 32, Jorgensen hit a streaking Denzell Walker for his third and final touchdown pass.
"I actually didn't think it was a great pass -- Denzell broke outside and I threw it inside," Jorgensen said. "But Denzell just made a great play on the ball."
Jorgensen's final touchdown came late in the fourth quarter when the Eagles were trying to run out the clock. They faced a fourth-and-2 from their own 46 and called a quarterback sneak.
"We were trying to get the clock moving, so I ran it," Jorgensen said. "Their linebacker actually got on me right away, but for some reason he tried to rip the ball out instead of just tackling me, which would have given them the ball anyway. I just broke away from him and ran for the touchdown."
Thus Jorgensen became the first Maryland player to score six touchdowns in a game this year. But unless he's destined to "have a shoe designed in his honor," it's not likely he'll ever match that mark again.
"I would like to think I could," Jorgensen said, laughing. "But probably not."
Maybe not, but this career day will certainly resonate with the Haverford faithful. The legend of Air Jorgensen has been born.
Connor Frazier, QB, Damascus: 12 of 20 for 205 yards, 3 TDs; 103 rushing yards, TD
Ryan Throndset, QB, Century: 340 yards, 3 TDs
Miles Crump, WR, McDonogh: 6 catches, 110 yards, TD
Darian Washington, QB, Havre de Grace: 224 yards, 5 TDs
Joe Riddle, RB, Linganore: 180 yards, 1 TD
Matt Fratto, WR, Linganore: 6 catches, 81 yards
Dezmon Hall, RB, Bel Air: 117 yards, 2 TDs
Ryan Santmyer, QB, Linganore: 104 passing yards; 2 rushing TDs
Quentin Ezell, RB, Walkersville: 175 yards, 2 TDs; 1 int, 1 TD on defense
Joel Ross, WR, Damascus: 5 catches, 146 yards, 2 TDs
Garrett Bean, WR, Westminster: 6 catches, 107 yards, 1 TD
Joe Blackwell, RB, Arundel: 106 yards, 2 TDs
Tyler Washington, WR, Arundel: 6 catches, 90 yards, TD
Devon Pestano, RB, Springbrook: 224 yards, 1 TD
Anthony Winter, RB, North Hagerstown: 210 yards, 3 TDs
Rico Johnson, RB, North Hagerstown: 123 yards
Trey Anderson, RB, North Hagerstown: 117
Eddie Cunningham, RB, Seneca Valley: 208 yards, 3 TDs
Zach Fetters, QB, Gaithersburg: 115 passing yards, 2 TDs; 110 rushing yards, TD
Nick Rosati, QB, Arundel: 214 yards, 4 TDs
Joey Bonavitacola, RB, Howard: 112 yards, 2 TDs
Tyler Codd, QB, Westminster: 12 of 17 for 289 yards, 4 TDs
Crusoe Gongbay, RB, Rockville: 260 yards, 2 TDs
Rachid Ibrahim, RB, Avalon: 225 yards, 3 TDs
Charlie Myers, RB, Tuscarora: 2 TDs, 1 int.
Justin Palmer, WR, Patterson Mill: 106 yards, 1 TD
Khalil Viera, RB, Wilde Lake: 201 yards, 1 TD
Cameron Wann, QB, Patterson Mill: 305 yards, 4 TDs
Kion Wright, WR, Pikesville: 160 total yards, 3 TDs
Aaron Wells, RB, River Hill: 209 yards, 5 TDs
Thomas Stuart, QB, Calvert Hall: 132 yards, 1 TD
KK Smith, RB, Spalding: 183 rushing yards, 2 TDs; 2 catches, 54 yards, TD
Darrell Milburn, QB, Poly: 12 of 16, 221 yards, 2 TDs
Dexter Davis, RB, Poly: 140 yards, 3 TDs
Gabriel Ali-El, RB, Poly: 154 yards, 3 TDs
EJ Gilman, RB, Wilde Lake: 2 TDs
Taylor Anderson, QB, Cambridge: 100 yards, 2 TDs
Thomas Howd, RB, Cambridge: 103 yards, 2 TDs
DJ Kee, RB, Stephen Decatur: 98 yards, 2 TDs
Tyree Cuffey, RB, Bennett: 2 TDs
Darnell Lake, WR, North Caroline: 330 total yards; 3 TDs
Rich Blaosser, QB, North Caroline: 7 for 7 for 202 yards, 4 TDs
Chris Willis, RB, Queen Anne's: 120 total yards, 2 TDs
Cor'ray Heath, RB, Wicomico: 130 total yards, TD
Luke Baxter, RB, Kent Island: over 100 total yards, 5 TDs
Davonte Fletcher, RB, Huntingtown: 105 yards, 2 TDs
Justin Bittner, QB, Huntingtown: 153 yards, 2 TDs
Demond Brown, RB, Old Mill: 98 yards, 3 TDs
Hunter Riggs, RB, Southern: 103 yards rushing, 2 TDs; 24 receiving yards, 1 TD
Davonte Burke, RB, Southern: 2 rushing TDs; Kick return TD
Brett Bedard, QB, Severn: 273 yards, 3 TDs, 1 rushing TD
Nick Manis, WR, Severn: 9 catches, 129 yards, 3 TDs
Ed Massengill, QB, Patuxent: 180 yards, 4 TDs
Tony Hale, WR, Westlake: 7 catches, 85 yards
Jw Smith, WR, Chopticon: 6 catches, 103 yards
Emmanuel Onakoya, RB, North Point: 130 yards, 2 TDs
Henry Kuhn, QB, Whitman: 15 of 20 for 186 yards, 2 TDs; 1 TD rushing
Michael Flack, WR, Whitman: 7 catches, 91 yards, TD
Daniel Upson, WR, Watkins Mill: 6 catches, 94 yards, 2 TDs; 1 int., 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery
Mike Spahr, QB, Urbana: 12 of 15 for 279 yards, 2 TDs
Jude Merkel, WR, Urbana: 3 catches, 129 yards, 1 TD
Wes Garey, RB, Urbana: 116 yards, 2 TDs
Matt Semelsberger, RB, Urbana: 119 yards, 2 TDs
Tate Rolland, RB, Brunswick: 138 yards, 1 TD
Mike Jones, RB, Winters Mill: 237 yards, 2 TDs
Anthony Nardo, QB, South Carroll: 144 yards, 5 TDs
Johnny Hettchen, WR, South Carroll: 3 TD catches
Blane Kleirichert, RB, South River: 3 TDs
Grant Kelly, QB, Fallston: 250 yards, 2 TDs
Devon Paye, RB, Hammond: 137 yards, TD
Dionte Jones, RB, Hammond: 123 yards, 2 TDs
Mike Fafau, QB, Loyola: 3 TD passes, 1 TD run
Mike DeBaugh, QB, Perry Hall: 300 yards passing, 3 TDs
Robert Turner, RB, Catonsville: 170 yards, TD
Bejoe Mundit, QB, Parkdale: 24 of 38 for 217 yards, 1 TD
Joel Jorgensen, QB, McDonogh: 214 passing yards, 3 TDs; 119 rushing yards, 3 TDs
Ron Darby, RB, Potomac: 215 yards, 2 TDs
Clyde Partlow, RB, Wise: 7 carries, 115 yards, 2 TDs
Uriah Bethea, RB, Wise: 114 cards, 2 TDs
Aaron Overton, QB, Patterson: 139 total yards, 3 TDs
Sam Benjamin, WR/QB, Mount St. Joseph: over 180 yards of total offense, 2 TDs
Jarod Harper, RB, Mountain Ridge: 103 yards, 2 TDs; Interception on defense
Drew Winter, RB, Mountain Ridge: 118 yards, 1 TD; 1 fumble recovery
Shawn Petty, QB, Roosevelt: 202 yards, 2 TDs, 1 rushing TD
Anthony Squire, QB, Suitland: 159 total yards, 3 TDs
Ben Kenley, RB, North Harford: 9 carries, 101 yards