J-Town finished three feet short of glory yet still found something else well worth the fight, Legitimacy- @football_jtown @McdanielsCamron @minguabeefjerky @HopkinsCentral @evans02_mike @_CoachManning @KyHighFootball @MaxPreps @sfitz_840whas

Photo: Matt Stone, Louisville Courier-Journal, "inches short."

’23 Chargers team showed its vastly different than prior versions

Camron McDaniels may be the best kept secret in Kentucky High School football. The junior TE/DE, with the help of his teammates, has completely reversed the Chargers’ football fortunes. At 6’5,” 245-pounds, he has the perfect frame for D-1 football where he will deploy. He has caught six (6) of the team’s 17-TD’s entering Thursday night with another couple in the DeSales game at TE. At DE, going into the game with the Colts, he had 14-TFL’s, eight (8) QB-sacks, 1-FR, 1-FF, and 2-INT’s. McDaniels holds several D-1 offers right now with many more likely to “jump on board.” J-Town showed, Thursday night, the Chargers are for real.

HB Lyon, Scouting Director, KPGFootball
Sweat running all over my chest, I don't quit, no! I just press harder than I ever did before... 
"2 Legit 2 Quit," performed by MC Hammer
Written by Felton Pilate, James Earley, Louis Burrell, Michael Patrick Kelly, Stanley Kirk Burrell

Both DeSales and J-Town were winless in ’22. However, that is where the similarities ended.

DeSales easily has the superior football tradition and pedigree. We are talking about a St. Francis DeSales football program which won football championships in 2013 and ’14, were finalists in 1981 and 2009, and appeared in the Semi-Finals in 2005, ’07, and ’15.

J-Town entered this year on a 1-20 run. The “Chargers” haven’t won more than a single game in a season since 2020.

Both teams were fighting for respect. Both teams were fighting for legitimacy coming off winless campaigns the year prior. Both teams were fighting for the District 3, 4A, regular season title and (likely) number-one seed in the quickly approaching playoffs.

DeSales, now 4-0 in district play (as opposed to J-Town being 3-1), got all three of its objectives met. Jeffersontown High went two for three. Neither team figures to be an “easy out” once the playoffs commence.

Sure, J-Town lost the game (DeSales 21, J-Town 18), but the Chargers deserved to walk off the field considerably taller and prouder than when they walked on it. 
Friday Night Fletch

There are several ways to view last night. One can say the “perfect season” was wrecked when J-Town’s junior QB, Raymond Cornish, hit the ground inches shy of the end zone as the clock struck zero. One can recognize J-Town played a very good DeSales team, had a shot to win it at the horn, after having trailed 21-12 with less than four minutes remaining.

Either way you look at it, the Chargers from Jeffersontown High left the game having earned respect and legitimacy, especially in the eyes of the opposing coach.

I love watching kids fight…both teams laid it on the line when it mattered most tonight

Mike Jackson, Head Football Coach, St. Francis DeSales

Coach Mike Jackson, from DeSales, told the commonwealth’s largest periodical, The Louisville Courier-Journal, and its sports editor, Jason Frakes, that, “I love watching kids fight and both teams laid it on the line when it mattered most tonight.”

Mike Jackson, HFC, St. Francis

That sound you hear in Coach Jackson’s voice (resonating in your mind) is the sound of respect. It is the sound of legitimacy.

J-Town, as they are commonly referenced around the commonwealth of Kentucky, has been thrilling all season long behind the outstanding play of some outstanding players. Raymond Cornish (’25) has completed 51 of his 94 passing attempts coming into the DeSales game.

Cornish has thrown for over 1,000-yards, with 16-TD’s, against a lone INT. Cornish threw a couple of TD tosses against DeSales. Cornish has scored twice on the ground.

[Raymond] Cornish (’25) has thrown for over 1,000-yards with 16-TD’s against a lone INT

KHSAA statistical website

Kaden Ruff (’24) has carried the bulk of the mail this season in the offensive backfield among ball-carriers. Ruff, a senior, entered the DeSales game with 79-carries for 895-yards. That is averaging over 11-yards per carry with his eight (8) rushing TD’s averaging a TD very 9.9 carries. Ruff has also contributed one TD receiving

Michael Mayer

Camron McDaniels (’25, 6’5, 245LBS) is the most ballyhooed and, perhaps, best football player to ever come out of the school. We believe him to be (rather easily) among the better football players in Kentucky and a “Mr. Football” candidate next season.

McDaniels, the holder of a handful of D-1 offers right now, reminds us of Covington Catholic’s, Michael Mayer (6’4,” 265) from a few years ago.

Mayer played the same positions in high school and was similarly built. Mayer won “Mr. Football,” was All-State (First-Team) his senior year on both sides of the football, had a fine career at Notre Dame (at TE), and is now playing for the storied Raiders franchise in the NFL.

Myers played TE/LB at Covington Catholic, but OLB and DE are very similar deployments and require similar skill sets in many Kentucky High School programs...  

Friday Night Fletch  

Camron McDaniels (’25), going into last night, had caught six (6) of the team’s 17-TD’s receiving (He caught a pair of big TD’s against DeSales). McDaniels, who plays defense (as did Mayer before him), leads the ball-club in TFLs with 14, QB-sacks with eight (8), has one (1)-FR, one (1)-FF, and two (2)-INT’s.

That is a boat-load of production. That isn’t the only boat-load of cargo the Chargers took off the field, Thursday night.

They carried away a boat-load of respect and a boat-load of legitimacy. Matter of fact, were MC Hammer consulted, he might relate the Chargers are 2 legit 2 quit, heading into this coming postseason.

This is Friday Night Fletch, reporting for KPGFootball, reminding you to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE!

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About Fletcher Long 1534 Articles
Two-time winner of Kentucky Press Association awards for excellence in writing and reporting news stories while Managing Editor of the Jackson (KY) Times-Voice

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