How good was Jack Jacoby Friday night?
Jacoby was so good that Marion Harding coach John Cupps stopped his postgame interview to run across the field and personally congratulate the Columbian back after the senior's four touchdown, 166-yard rushing performance.
"It was nice," Jacoby said of Cupps' gesture. "I have respect for their team. Hopefully they keep winning and give us a little boost, but best of luck to them."
Jacoby's performance helped the Tornadoes dispatch the Presidents, 39-27, though, as Cupps and TC coach Brian Colatruglio acknowledged afterwards - the game wasn't as close as the score indicated. Harding added a pair of rushing touchdowns against Columbian's reserve defense in the fourth quarter to make up the final score.
Jacoby had touchdown runs of 10, 2, 72 and 26 yards. He erupted in the second half after being held to 46 yards in the first 24 minutes.
"With Jack, anytime he has the ball he has a chance to hit the home run," Colatruglio said. "That's why we put the ball in his hands."
After a solid opening drive by the Presidents to start the game, Donovan Walker intercepted a Shawn Tyler pass in the end zone, giving TC the ball and the momentum. The Tornadoes built a 12-0 lead on Jacoby's first two touchdown runs, then expanded their lead to 19-0 when Mike Rohrbach and Walker connected on a 30-yard touchdown pass with 7:04 left in the half.
It was a strong first half for Rohrbach, who finished with eight completions for 176 yards and two touchdowns. After Marion Harding's L.J. Scott put the Presidents on the board with a 1-yard touchdown, Rohrbach connected again, this time with Tanner Fisher on a 52-yard scoring play.
Fisher caught the ball at about the 30 near the sideline, then made a move to escape the defender and went untouched into the end zone.
"(Rohrbach) was sharp," Colatruglio said. "They're playing man coverage, and our receivers made some really good plays.
TC went to the half up, 26-7. For the game, its defense forced three turnovers, including an interception by Vince Anway.
"(Columbian is) a very good football team, a very good football program," Cupps said. "This is the second week in a row we've turned the ball over against a quality opponent. We can't do that."
Two Jacoby touchdowns followed, sandwiched around a Harding score.
"It was just, you know, wearing them down," Jacoby said. "Our coaches do a great job of making halftime adjustments, and we just pounded the ball on them."
Still, the Presidents also had some good performances from the running game. Scott ran for 136 yards and three touchdowns, including a 78-yard jaunt late. Quarterback Shawn Tyler ran for 105 yards.
For Columbian, Walker caught three passes for 83 yards, leading all receivers.