JORDAN, Minn. (WCCO) — Football playoffs are usually about dominant regular season teams dominating in the playoffs.
But the Jordan football team is an exception.
The squad was 1-7 going into the section tournament. Now, Jordan finds itself in the state quarterfinals.
The Jordan football team didn’t win a single game last year, and didn’t get a first win this year until week 5, finishing the regular season 1-7.
“It seemed like all year we played against ourselves and against the opponent,” coach Craig Albers said. “We were shooting ourselves in the foot and turning the ball over.”
But something clicked these past few weeks. The Hubmen defied the odds and went on an improbable playoff run.
“We felt like we could do it,” Albers said. “Just if we played good enough football to get in.”
And the boys did. The Hubmen won three in a row, avenging a 28-0 loss earlier this season by beating Norwood Young America in the semi-finals, and then defeating Providence Academy in the section finals in overtime.
“There were dog piles, hugs,” said quarterback Nate Beckman. “Not many tears by people, but a few.”
Wide receiver Nick Heitkamp said, “It’s amazing. It’s what every kid dreams of — to make it to the state tournament. Nothing better.”
Nothing better, and nothing that anyone really expected.
“Can’t put my thumb on any specific thing, because we made no real big changes,” Albers said.
But Jordan did play mistake-free football. In the section finals, the team didn’t turn the ball over once — and there was just one penalty the entire game. The Hubmen caught a little confidence, and it steamrolled.
“Playoffs are definitely a whole, new thing,” Beckman said. “Believe in yourself and your team, you can get a win against anyone.”
Jordan will play the favorites in Class 3A, undefeated Rochester Lourdes in the first round of state. The rallying cry is “Why Not Us?”
The Hubmen have a good core of juniors, so no matter what happens, they like their chances next year too.
Jordan hasn’t been to state since 1994, undefeated in 2006, made it to section finals and lost.