Sandy • Jordan's offense is dangerous enough when it has the football. Giving the Beetdiggers more opportunities to score is asking for trouble.
Northridge learned that lesson the hard way Friday.
Jordan turned back-to-back interceptions in the second quarter and consecutive punts by Northridge into 21 points en route to a 49-13 victory in the 5A state quarterfinals. The Beetdiggers rushed for 362 yards, with Clay Moss adding to his postseason touchdown total with four more scores.
"We definitely are hungry to win," said Jordan quarterback Austin Kafentzis, who rushed for 176 yards and a pair of touchdowns. "If you win the turnover battle, mostly you'll come out victorious. We definitely capitalized on what they were giving us. We picked things up in the second half."
The Beetdiggers (10-1), who were clinging to a 14-13 lead with two minutes remaining in the first half, seized the moment when freshman Cooper Clark jumped the flat route and returned an interception to the Northridge 2-yard line. Kafentzis trotted into the end zone on the next play.
Jordan finished the game with 35 unanswered points to set up a semifinal matchup with Lone Peak on Thursday at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
"Our defense is probably the thing that has stepped up the most," Jordan coach Eric Kjar said. "I'm proud of the way they've played these opening two rounds. We pushed our defense at the half about getting stops right away and getting the ball back to our offense so we could roll. We've still got some things to clean up."
Moss, meanwhile, continued his impressive postseason roll. He has rushed for 326 yards and nine touchdowns in two games.
Although the offense took a while to click, Jordan's defense remained stout, allowing only a pair of James Baird field goals. Following Moss' 17-yard touchdown on the Beetdiggers' first possession, Northridge's Dayan Lake returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a score to give the Knights hope they could stick around.
However, Clark and Mason Krueger both intercepted Northridge (9-3) quarterback Nate Kusuda to stall drives, including once in the red zone.
"Turnovers is the one stat category you can look at and determine who will be successful or not," Kjar said. "It's huge in the playoffs."
Kafentzis and Moss proved too much for the Northridge defense, combining to rush for 346 yards and six touchdowns. Kafentzis also completed 8 of his 10 passes for 96 yards, although he didn't need to throw the ball much.
"We wanted to come out and prove how hard we've worked all summer and protect our turf," Kafentzis said. "Our defense came through a lot of adversity when one of our players got hurt. I had to come in and play free safety."
While two wins remain before a state champion is crowned, Jordan has looked dominant through the preliminary rounds. The Beetdiggers have outscored opponents 105-20 and outgained them 899-568.
Northridge's David Adams, who came into the game with 1,176 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns, was limited to 73 yards on 18 carries and no scores. Kusuda completed 16 of his 33 passes for 190 yards and the two interceptions.