CLOSER LOOK: Centennial’s Jayson Cortes

Take a closer look at Corona Centennial junior Jayson Cortes and you’ll see the quiet engine that pumps at the heart of the Huskies’ high-powered offense.

Cortes scored on three of his nine touches as the Huskies (9-0 overall, 4-0 Big VIII League) defeated Eastvale Roosevelt, 64-0, on Friday, Oct. 22.

The 5-foot-9, 190-pound running back hasn’t gained for more than 100 yards in a game since Week 4, but still is averaging 8.3 yards per carry as the Huskies No. 1 option out of the backfield.

Cortes has only had to play the first half of games this season because of how dominant Centennial has been in league play, leaving him watching from the sidelines in the second half.

“He’s such a workhorse and he’s so tough. He works his tail off and any success he has is great,” Centennial coach Matt Logan said.

We caught up with Cortes after the win over Roosevelt. It was barely noticeable that he had played. You totaled three rushing TDs giving you 15 on the season. How do you feel the season is going? 
Jayson Cortes: “I think things are going great. With Coach Logan’s plan every week for the next opponent, and my line contributing and making those holes for me.”

IF: What’s your thought on taking on such a prominent role in such a prolific offense?
JC: “It’s a blessing just being in this program and being under the coaching of Coach Logan. It’s just a blessing, really.”

IF: The running back position means something at Centennial. What does it mean to you?
JC: “It means a lot. I have a big role to take and I believe I have the ability to do that for my coaches and my team. I just want to contribute and get the win, you know?”

IF: You ran over a defender for your second touchdown. Where’s that strength come from?
JC: “It’s all, really, what goes on at practice, working on high knees (and) getting the angles right. And in the weight room, it’s always about the weight room. Coach Logan gets us right with that.”

IF: After the emotional win over Norco, how did the team manage that part of the game tonight?
JC: “I believe we came out hot. It’s just the game plan that Coach Logan puts out for us we just execute, and execute on and off the field, in the film room, in the weight room, everywhere, and we just like to perform for the crowd.”

IF: Can you think about football after high school yet?
JC: “Right now recruiting hasn’t really picked up but I’m just waiting for someone to like my talents and like my abilities enough to give me a shot at the next level.

IF: Do you have any individual goals for the season?
JC: “It’s really about the team. I like that I contribute a lot to the team. I can’t do it without my linemen, without my coaches and the whole staff. It’s a blessing to be here.

IF: What’s it like to be around so many talented players everyday?
JC: “It’s great. At practice is straight competition. It’s always 100 percent and we’re never taking plays off, whether it’s in practice or in games. Coach Logan runs a fast-paced offense and you really have to work with him.”

IF: Do you feel like there’s a target on your back as the No. 1 back on a team full of capable backs?
JC: “I jut feel like all the running backs like to push each other to get to the next level and to work hard. We’re always competiting. We always compete, and we’re always looking to see who was the best that day, and it’s just a blessing because the rest of the running backs are great guys. They’re huge talents and we make each other better every day at practice.”

IF: What’s the ceiling for this team this season?
JC: “We’re just taking it step-by-step (and) week-by-week, and we just have to work hard and try to get to the championship game.”


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