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Jayden Spires Jackson Ironmen
Jayden Spires fights through a tackle in the Ironmens game against the Stars. (Joe Collins/WOUB)

Player of the Year Film Watch: Jayden Spires

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To earn your White Jacket is the highest honor you can achieve as a member of the Jackson Ironmen football team. This season, Jayden Spires earned that honor in style after a spectacular season. The FAC Player of the Year, Spires led his team to an undefeated 10-0 regular season against the toughest schedule in the FAC and played a crucial role in Jackson’s playoff win against Centennial, their first since 2015.

With Spires behind the quarterback, Jackson is never short of explosive firepower on offense. Whether charging down the field for a big gain or opening the passing game, #5 put every opposing defense on notice with his talent and leadership. His season numbers back up the boasting, Spires’ stats through week eleven include:

  • 1,281 rushing yards (led FAC), 6.8 yards/carry, 19 rushing TDs (led FAC), 1 receiving TD

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Banana Peel

Spires is slippery. You better wrap him up if you want a chance at the tackle. For the first of these two attempts at stopping this monster of a man, the defender must’ve skipped that class period.

Failure to place yourself directly in this young man’s way results in shed tackle after another shed tackle. Ask the entire Miami Trace defense how sore runs like these make them feel.

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Watch the Screen!

When in doubt, a HB who can run the screen pass can be an invaluable play to chunk massive yards after the catch. Spires takes the pass and trucks past defender after defender, nearly taking it to the house for six!

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Find the Hole

Jackson loves to run this play on scoring attempts, a run right up the middle to the end zone for six points. On this occasion we get a chance to observe Spires’ situational awareness to find the hole and escape untouched to the end zone.

Oh yeah, this concept works out just the same way from twenty yards back as well as from two yards back! If given a large enough hole, Spires will punish you from anywhere on the field, as this next play demonstrates.

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Special Teams Matters

Defense, what defense? Spires lines up to return kickoffs on the rare occasion that an opponent scores against his line, and this return appears to be straight out of a video game, effortlessly running up the gut of the first and second wave of Miami Trace defenders to put the Ironmen immediately within scoring range.

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THE Iron Curtain

Much is said about the Ironmen defense, and hey, what’s a high school football player if he can’t make plays on both sides of the ball? Watch the explosion off the line by a blitzing Spires to stop the run before it could even get going.

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Phantom of the Ironmen

Even if he doesn’t get the ball, Spires can lead the defense astray. Nobody plays mind games better than #5. Need proof? Check out this play action in the red zone, Spires fakes the hand off from Jared Icenhower, redirecting all eyes on him, which allows for a beauty of a touchdown pass to Treylan Davis for an easy six.

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If you want to run with the best of them, you must be the best athlete on the field, and Jayden Spires sets the benchmark for all other teams in Southeast Ohio. To vote for Jayden to take home the GGPOY trophy at the end of the season, vote now!

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