Texas Tech hybrid defensive end-linebacker commits Jerrell Jordan and Terrell Hartsfield led the Co-Lin Wolfpack to a 41-37 upset of the No. 6 Mississippi Gulf Coast Bulldogs in the MACJC State Championship Game on Saturday.
Jerrell Jordan receives a call from his defensive coaches on the sidelines.
“We were the underdogs,” Hartsfield said. “Like no body expected us to make it past the regular season, but we kept working hard and it worked out for us and paid off in the end.”
Copiah-Lincoln linebackers and safeties coach Clarence McDougal attributes the Wolfpack’s success to the work ethic of Jordan and Hartsfield.
“They played a major role,” McDougal said. “They were the leaders of the team - the back bone of the team. They always work hard and guys fed off of them. The two best players here, they work the hardest, every body came around them.”
This was a sweet victory for the Wolfpack, who suffered a 54-21 loss to the Bulldogs during their own homecoming game earlier in the season.
“We were healthy and actually on a winning streak then,” Jordan said. "They just came out and out played us. We had respect for them (this time), our defensive coordinator put an extra guy on the line with me.”
Hartsfield said he had 3 ½ sacks and seven tackles in the game and Jordan added one sack and 10 or 12 tackles. The pressure from the defensive front helped swing the momentum for Co-Lin.
“In a big way,” Jordan said. “In the second half we were going touchdown for touchdown, we both came in handy with big sacks. We put a lot of pressure on the quarterback, our guys ended up getting three picks. We stepped up big, it was do or die. We came down with a game winning interception.”
Saturday’s win marked the second consecutive playoff upset for the Wolfpack.
Terrell Hartsfield has been committed to Texas Tech for almost three years.
“If your two best players are the hardest working, you’ve got a chance to do something,” McDougal said.
The defensive end duo couldn’t be more excited to enroll at Texas Tech in January.
“We talk about it every day,” Jordan said. “We always talk about how it’s going to be and how different it’s going to be. We’ve always wanted to be Division I since high school and it’s almost here. We talk about it every single day, about being a Red Raider, playing Division 1 football and being on TV.”
Hartsfield, who has been committed to Tech for nearly three years has plenty of excitement and anticipation built up to don the Scarlet and Black.
“I told Jerrell (on Tuesday),” Hartsfield said. “We have exactly 30 days until graduation then we’re headed straight to Lubbock. We talk about it all the time. It’s unbelievable, we can’t wait to get there, be on campus and play football. D-1 has been a long time coming.”
McDougal expects Jordan and Hartsfield to continue their success in the Big 12
“I think both of them will transition well,” McDougal said. “For one, they are going to go hard so the work ethic won’t be in question. I think they will be some big impact guys when they get down there. It should translate to the Big 12.”
Last year Hartsfield played middle linebacker for the Wolfpack.
“He’s an athletic guy,” McDougal said. “He can jump out of the gym. He’s very athletic, Jerrell is the same way.”
The Red Raiders return their entire starting defensive front seven next year and will become even better with the addition of these two. In Wesson, Mississippi, however, these two will be missed.
“I’m going to miss them,” McDougal said. “But, I’m proud of them. They played a big role in our championship season. I was glad to coach them and I want to be around them. They want to work, work, work. When your best two players put in work then it’s easy for the others to follow behind.”