Jordan Anderson, senior quarterback of the St. Mary’s football team, piled up a lot of honors in his four year career, the most recent of which was being named to the Minnesota Vikings All-state Football Team.
Presented by the Minnesota Army National Guard, the 2012 team consists of 30 of the best prep players throughout the state as selected by a committee of sportswriters, broadcasters, Vikings staff and Minnesota high school football coaches. Jordan and the team were honored during halftime of the Viking-Bears game last Sunday.
Anderson’s awards include twice being named Offensive Player of the Year in the Southern Minnesota Conference. He led the Knights to two Section 2A championships in 2011 and 2012, to the semi-finals of the State Football Playoffs in 2011, to the quarterfinals in 2012 and to the Southern Minnesota Conference championship and an undefeated season in 2012.
In his final season in 2012, he completed 60 percent of his passes (159/265) for 2,585 yards and 26 touchdowns. He carried the ball 132 times for 959 yards, averaging 7.3 yards per carry, for 12 touchdowns. Anderson holds the school career records for passing yards, 6,057 yards, and passing touchdowns, 58. He also holds the career rushing record, 2,034 yards, and touchdowns, 26.
I recently interviewed Jordan about his remarkable accomplishments and his plans for the future.
Q: When did you start playing quarterback?
A: As a ninth grader I played the last two varsity games of the year (2009). I mostly played safety, but got in a few snaps as the quarterback.
Q: Then you took over as the starting QB as a sophomore?
A: Right. It was kind of rough. We were all young and inexperienced. Coach Kucera wanted to install a balanced offense where we passed and ran the ball. We had a steep learning curve and I really did not get comfortable in the position until the third game of the year.
Q: Your junior year was the break out year.
A: Yes. We had a group of guys who had been playing together since grade school … good athletes. We started to click midway through the season and peaked in time for the playoffs. We lost three games in the regular season and I feel we should have won two of those. After we beat Springfield in the opening, we let down in the Sleepy Eye game and lost. That was a bit of a wakeup call.
Q: Then you beat Cathedral for the Section championship and faced Adrian in the State quarterfinals. I think you surprised a few people in that game.
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A: Adrian is a good team. They are always in the playoffs. We were unknown; had never been to state before. I think they underestimated us. We were behind at the half, but came back to win it. I don’t think they scored in the second half. We kept our composure and as the game wore on you could see the frustration growing in the other team. That was a nice win.
Q: This year the results at State weren’t quite as good.
A: Bethlehem Academy is a very good team and made it to the finals. They just were the better team and beat us. We really couldn’t get into a rhythm and when they shut down our running game we had no chance.
Q: Did you change plays much at the line of scrimmage during the year?
A: No, not a lot. I had pre-snap reads and could make adjustments. As a senior, Coach Kucera gave me a lot of freedom. We had a very good offensive scheme that we had a lot of confidence in.
Q: You ran to the sidelines on almost every offensive down to get the play from Coach Kucera. I wonder how many extra yards you ran during a game?
A: (Laughing) It took a few games into the season to get in shape. The first two games or so I’d really get tired.
Q: You and Sean Mathiowetz were quite a combination.
A: He’s a really good receiver. I had confidence in him to get the ball when I put it up. We had special signals that we used so I knew what he was trying to do. Some of times the play was, “Sean goes long.” Coach Kucera trusted us to make the plays.
Q: What were the highlights of your career?
A: I’d have to say winning the homecoming games. We won three in a row. If you lost those you’d hear about it.
Q: What is next for you? College?
A: I’ve been accepted in to the civil engineering program at South Dakota State University.
Q: No plans to play football?
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A: No. I’m done. Maybe when I’m old, like 40 (laughter from a very old reporter) I’ll have some regrets, but not now.