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Northeast's Jordan wins quarterback challenge

Carl Jordan didn't have much competition at quarterback his senior year, leading Northeast to an undefeated regular season and into the Class 5A state semifinals. So he found his competition elsewhere.

Jordan entered the High School Quarterback Challenge at Jacksonville's Bishop Kenny High. He scored 142 points to win and moves on to the national tournament April 12 in Orlando _ the same time as the NFL Quarterback Challenge.

"I had always watched the pro competition on television and thought it would be good if there was one for high school quarterbacks," Jordan said. "It was a good time."

For Jordan, the biggest challenge of the event was finding out about it. He received the information last Tuesday and didn't have much time to prepare. In fact, he practiced his throwing motion with a shotput during the week and went over his strategy during the car ride to Jacksonville.

It was a strategy that worked.

Jordan won two of the three events to beat out Tallahassee Leon's Charlie Walker and Defuniak Springs Walton's Kendall Nelson. After Walker won the accuracy competition, Jordan started to take over. He beat Walker in the speed and mobility contest. In the final event, the distance throw, Jordan had the longest pass of the day _ a 76-yarder _ which tied the NFL record set by former Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham.

"I knew I had to give it my best shot on the last event," Jordan said. "I saw Randall's throw when he broke the record and I told everybody I could beat it. I think everybody believes me now."

With the national competition less than a month away, Jordan has to make a decision. The competition is the same day as his SAT exam. If Jordan makes it to Orlando, he hopes to break Cunningham's record.

"I want to do it in front of all the pro players," Jordan said. "I hope to put St. Pete on the map and win the whole thing."

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