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Class 5A
Carroll at Penn, 7 p.m.
North Side at South Side, 7 p.m.
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Class 4A
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Columbia City at Bishop Dwenger, 7 p.m.
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Swikar Patel | The Journal Gazette
New Haven’s Jordan Hogue breaks free from Carroll defenders to score a touchdown.

Hogue top dog for New Haven

Hogue

New Haven’s versatile spark plug will get his chance to take his act on the road.

Junior Jordan Hogue, the Bulldogs’ do-everything, big-play guy, received an invitation to January’s U.S. Army combine in San Antonio. It will be a chance for the 6-foot-1, 175-pound receiver/defensive back to show his stuff against some of the best juniors in the nation.

“It came as a shock to me,” Hogue said of the invitation to the combine. “(New Haven football coach Jim Rowland) came to class and pulled me out and handed me this piece of paper. I was kind of speechless and didn’t know what to say. It is a great honor. I just want to go down there and prove I can play with anybody in the nation.”

A first-team All-NHC defensive back, Hogue has five interceptions and three fumble recoveries. He has returned an interception and a fumble for touchdowns, while having another pick-six called back because of an inadvertent whistle. He also has scored eight touchdowns on offense and is used as New Haven’s wildcat/change-of-pace quarterback.

“I am the big-play guy and the spark guy,” Hogue said. “I get everybody hyped before the game, and we go out there ready to play. In the game, I am there whenever we need a big play. Since Metro, I have been able to play wherever they put me and excel in it. It makes football really, really fun.”

The Bulldogs (8-2) know what they have in Hogue as they play host to NHC rival Norwell (1-9) tonight in the Class 4A sectional semifinals.

“Jordan is tremendously important to our football team in all three phases of the game,” Rowland said in an email interview. “He really has been a big momentum changer for us this season. He is a gifted receiver and has a knack for big plays in our offense. Defensively, he had made huge plays all year long.

“He is a threat on punt and kickoff returns as well, often forcing teams to lose yardage trying to kick away from him. In short, he is a football player. He does everything well (blocking, tackling, etc.).”

New Haven won its first eight games of the season before back-to-back losses to East Noble and Homestead in the final two regular-season games before a 43-20 win over Marion in last week’s sectional opener.

Hogue scored the game-winning touchdown (running out of the wildcat formation) and two-point conversion in a critical 28-27 win over Columbia City and had a fumble return for a touchdown, a receiving touchdown and a big interception in a 33-14 win over Carroll.

But Hogue considers himself a byproduct of teams concentrating on running back Anthony Moore, who has rushed for 1,594 yards and 16 touchdowns this year.

“Anthony Moore is a tank this year, and that makes the other team’s defense have to focus in on the run,” Hogue said. “Then we can go to the air and get as many yards as we want.”

Not bad for a guy who came over from Harding when it closed two years ago and was worried he might not fit into the Bulldogs’ system.

“It was just more about learning a new offense and trying to pick it up really fast and try to stay with everybody else so I wouldn’t get behind,” Hogue said of coming over from Harding. “I was kind of worried about getting to know the coaches so I can fit in with the program like everybody else.”

Greg Jones is the high school sports editor for The Journal Gazette and has been covering sports in the Fort Wayne area since 1998. He can be reached by email gjones@jg.net; phone, 461-8224; or fax 461-8648.

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