CADIZ -- Damien Ford returned refreshed from a one-week hiatus, Cam Marshall-to-Jayden Freeman looked like Drew Brees-to-Michael Thomas, and the Paducah Tilghman Blue Tornado overcame a slow start Friday to unleash for a 63-21 Class 3A, District I win over Trigg County at Purdue Field.
Wildcat electric senior quarterback Cam Jordan opened the scoring with a 23-yard rush down the left sideline for a 6-0 Trigg County lead with 6:35 left in the first quarter. And his 25-yard touchdown pass to Alex Curling had the Wildcats within striking distance, trailing 14-13, with 7:41 left in the second quarter.
But that's when the Tornado finally touched down, tossed homes and skipped town.
On the ensuing drive, Ford had carries of 26 yards, 27 yards and then three yards for a 20-13 lead.
It was the first of his three touchdowns, and just 56 yards of his 313 on the night.
"It was the line," Ford said. "Man, they can ball. They wanted it. They were all for it."
Ford, of course, wasn't alone in his efforts. On Tilghman's next possession, Marshall hit Freeman along the left flat for what normally would've been a short gain.
But Freeman found an extra step, got an incredible crack block from Tilghman receiver Brian Thomas, and sprang for a 70-yard touchdown and a 27-13 lead with 4:08 left in the half.
Tilghman would score twice more before the half after forcing Trigg County in back-to-back three-and-outs. A 27-yard run from Ford and a 39-yard deep ball to Freeman set up Marshall for a one-yard keep and a 34-13 advantage.
And then Ford struck again, breaking two tackles on his way to a 42-yard touchdown with less than 50 seconds left in the half.
"Honestly, I think (we opened up) because of the way we started calling plays," noted Tilghman coach Jonathan Smith. "And I'll criticize myself, because I'm the one that calls them. But one of the things that we've been working on -- because I feel like it fits our kids -- is going fast. Where we don't have time to think.
"In that first quarter, I don't think our defense was playing well, but I think a lot of that was because offensively we were stalled. And we were stalled because we were going slow."
Tilghman would only speed up after halftime. Marshall hit Freeman for a 39-yard screen touchdown on the fourth play of the third quarter, and a two-point conversion from Ford brought about a 49-13 lead and a running clock the rest of the way.
Ford got his second 42-yard touchdown of the night to make it 55-13 with 6:39 left in the third quarter, then had a 24-yard gain on Tilghman's next possession to eclipse 300 yards rushing.
Jonathan George would follow Ford's gash with his own -- a 46-yarder down the left sideline for the final Tilghman touchdown.
Trigg County picked up its final score on a 20-yard touchdown from Cade Bleidt, who'd finish leading the Wildcats in rushing (12 attempts, 82 yards).
Freeman would finish with eight carries, 22 yards rushing and four catches with 159 yards receiving and four total touchdowns, as he continues to try and keep pace with Ford on the season.
"It's a race," Freeman said. "First that gets to 1,000 wins."
Paducah Tilghman 7 34 15 7 -- 63
Trigg County 7 6 0 8 -- 21
TC: Cam Jordan 23 rush (Andrew Syester PAT), 7-0, 6:35 1Q
PT: Jayden Freeman 6 rush (Shelby Nickal PAT), 7-7, 5:41 1Q
PT: Jayden Freeman 11 pass from Cam Marshall (Shelby Nickal PAT), 14-7, 10:55 2Q
TC: Alex Curling 25 pass from Cam Jordan (PAT miss), 14-13, 7:41 2Q
PT: Damien Ford 3 rush (Shelby Nickal PAT), 21-13, 6:23 2Q
PT: Jayden Freeman 70 pass from Cam Marshall (Shelby Nickal PAT), 28-13, 4:08 2Q
PT: Cam Marshall 1 rush (Shelby Nickal PAT), 35-13, 1:52 2Q
PT: Damien Ford 42 rush (PAT miss), 41-13, :49.5 2Q
PT: Jayden Freeman 39 pass from Cam Marshall (Damien Ford rush), 49-13, 11:40 3Q
PT: Damien Ford 42 rush (Shelby Nickal PAT), 56-13, 6:39 3Q
PT: Jonathan George 46 rush (Shelby Nickal PAT), 63-13, 8:09 4Q
TC: Cade Bleidt 20 rush (Cam Jordan pass to Josh Visingardi), 63-21, 2:42 4Q
PT Cam Marshall 7-12-195-0-3; TC Cam Jordan 6-20-86-1-1
PT Damien Ford 13-313-3, Jayden Freeman 8-22-1, Jonathan George 2-47-1; TC Cam Jordan 14-80, Cade Bleidt 12-82-1, Tayshaun Barker 8-61
PT Jayden Freeman 4-159-3, Michael Laster 2-25; TC Tayshaun Barker 2-37, Andrew Syester 1-27
PT 5-1, TC 4-2