Jordan Nelson laughs when asked if he has been called Jordy Nelson.
A few times, he said with a smile.
Jordy Nelson is a veteran wide receiver now with Oakland after a lengthy stay in Green Bay.
That Nelson, in his 11th NFL season, is valuable to his team and fantasy league owners.
Jordan Nelson, meanwhile, is easily the most valuable player on the Palmerton High roster.
He has done it all for the Blue Bombers, who are 2-5 entering Saturdays game at Wilson.
Nelson, a 6-foot-1, 170-pound junior, leads the team in tackles. He was also the teams leading receiver before coach Chris Walkowiak turned to him to become the teams quarterback.
Walkowiaks decision worked out well in last weeks 59-14 rout of Catasauqua. Nelson was 15 of 21 passing for 236 yards and also ran nine times for 83 yards and three touchdowns. He still had the energy to get 48 yards on two kickoff returns and also returned an interception for a score, while making eight tackles.
Playing quarterback is much easier when you have a line giving you good protection and receivers running good routes and finding space, Nelson said. When he asked me to play quarterback, I thought it was a good opportunity for me to help the team. I just try to step up and be a playmaker. I miss being a receiver a little bit, but if playing QB is best for the team Im happy to do it.
Nelson hardly ever comes off the field for the Bombers, who have one of the smallest rosters in the area at around 30 players.
Jordan is a phenomenal athlete and a great kid on and off the field, Walkowiak said. He has embraced the quarterback position. Due to injuries, weve had to rotate guys there. Its not something anybody wants to have to do, but it happened. Theyre all quality kids, but Jordan has really taken the job and run with it. He has taken command of the offense and makes good decisions managing the game. Hes got a great football IQ and knows the offense no matter what position he plays.
As usual, Saucon Valley has a premier running back. Senior Ian Csiscek ran for over 1,500 yards in the teams first seven games all wins and is the leading rusher in District 11.
But Csicsek is the first to credit the Panthers offensive line for his success.
Jared Harka, Tim Weaver, Aidan Redding, Evan Deiley and David Osman create the holes for Csicsek and the other runners and also protect freshman quarterback Dante Mahaffey.
All of them saw considerable action in 2017 and their experience is paying off.
We knew coming in that wed be important, Harka said. Being veterans, being experienced, it would probably be up to us to work hard and get the job done.
Redding agreed, saying As long as we do our job, we know Ian will do his.
Offensive line coach Ed Chromczak has been coaching football at Saucon for 25 years. He said this O-line group can hold its own with any the Panthers have had.
Weve had some really solid groups over the past five or six years and this group ranks right up there with them, Chromczak said. Our style is to run the ball. We do what we have to do to win games. Theyre all two-year starters and that helps with all of the different [defensive] looks we get. A lot of people pack the box on us, but our guys are smart and aggressive.
The 6-foot-5, 285-pound Weaver was an all-league tackle last year and on his way to lots of honors this postseason. Hes a Division I recruit.
Hes the real deal, Chromczak said. Hes a three-year starter and has gotten better every year. But theyre all really good kids to with, including our center [Osman] who started last year as a freshman.
Chromczak said that its an unselfish group that doesnt expect glory.
A lot of guys dont like to play line, but these guys do, he said. And they do a great job with it.
The line and Saucon Valleys entire offense will be tested by good teams over the remainder of the regular season.
The Panthers host Northwestern tonight in a game that could be determined by line play. Then theyll travel to Notre Dame and host Palisades to close out the regular season.
Northern Lehigh will be honoring the first team to win a football championship in the history of Slatington/Northern Lehigh High School at halftime of tonights game against Palisades. The 1968 Slatington High football team won the Lehigh Valley League championship with a 9-1 record.
The teams head coach was Jack Cassebaum. Assistants included William Reese, Paul Turner, Gayne Deshler and Michael Bonner. The captains were Derek Lilly, Robert Hankee and John Hough.
Palisades senior Trey Gretzinger needs 49 yards to break his brother Christians school rushing record set between 2011-14 at 3,189 yards. Also, senior quarterback Ethan Brader has 28 career TD passes, one shy of the school record set by Kevin Burke (1973-75) and Kule Jensen (2005-07).