Quarterback/DB/kicker will do anything to keep his team in the game
By Robert Morales, Staff Writer
Posted: 11/20/2008 10:46:34 PM PST
It was Oct. 24 and Jordan High was playing a Moore League football game at Compton. Panthers quarterback John Timu was trying desperately to keep his team in a game it would eventually lose to the Tarbabes, 38-22.
On one play with four minutes left, Timu showed everyone in attendance just what kind of player he is. Jordan was trailing, 32-16. On a fourth-
and-9 at the Compton 16-yard line and in need of a touchdown, Timu took the ball and ran right.
Timu was about to get nailed by several Tarbabes after gaining 4 yards. Instead of running out of bounds or tucking his head and going down like many quarterbacks would have, Timu leaped high into the air like Michael Jordan, twisting forward as he came down nearly 5 yards later.
Timu got cracked upon his crash-landing, but he was on his feet watching the officials spread the chains.
Timu was a foot short of a first down. But the play was nothing short of spectacular. Afterward, Compton coach Calvin Bryant said of Timu, "I don't know how any team is going to stop Timu. He's a great football player."
Lakewood certainly didn't stop Timu a week earlier during a 21-14 Panthers victory. But it wasn't Timu's offense that did in the Lancers. It was more the damage he inflicted from his position in the defensive secondary. He made two critical interceptions, returning one for a 40-yard touchdown and another for 45 yards.
"I think he's a great playmaker on both sides of the ball," Lakewood coach Thadd MacNeal said this week. "If you watch every game, he is around the ball making something happen for his team. I think he is a great competitor.
"As a coach, you want guys who can come and compete. If you watch him, he says, `I want to make every play.' He leaves it on the field and you have to respect that."
Timu, who also punts and kicks, makes Jordan coach Scott Meyer a bit nervous with his gutsy style of play.
"He's done that a couple of other times," Meyer said of Timu's famous leap at Compton. "As a coach it drives you crazy when your best player is doing that stuff.
"He is so fearless and such a competitor. He wants to make a play all the time."
Timu, who will lead Jordan (7-3) into the first round of the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs against Mater Dei (7-3) tonight at 7 at Santa Ana Stadium, said he is guilty as charged.