The Sandusky senior wasn’t aware he was putting on a historic performance in one of Ohio’s oldest rivalries against Fremont Ross in Week 1.
But his legs were letting him know something was going on.
“The cramps kind of told me when I was running, but no, I had no idea really,” Moore said of the Aug. 30 game that saw him total up 431 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns. “That night taught me to keep pushing, so I could try and have more of those kind of games.”
Moore has had plenty of those kind of games in the seven weeks that have followed entering Friday’s Northern Ohio League game at Ontario. But unfortunately for the 5-foot-8, 155-pound speedster and the rest of the Blue Streaks, it’s been a tough go in 2013.
Sandusky enters the game at just 2-6 overall (2-2 NOL).
Four of those losses have been by 28 points or more, and all six losses have been by 14 points or more.
“It’s been hard. Losing is never easy,” Moore said. “But we’re just trying to push through it and work together as a team. We’re still coming together. I like how we support each other. We are pushing still to do better.”
Moore has been the jack of all trades for Sandusky, leading the team in rushing, receiving and kick returns while also throwing 22 passes at quarterback.
In eight games, Moore has ran the ball 86 times for 613 yards and 10 touchdowns, has caught 12 passes for 178 yards and a TD, and returned 10 kickoffs for 389 yards and 2 TDs.
Sandusky coach Mike Franklin and his coaching staff drew up the offense in the offseason to line Moore up at QB and let him use his abilities to make plays.
“I think it’s worked out really well for him,” Franklin said. “Jay is just a hard worker. He’s first in everything we do. He has a tremendous attitude, he’s smart and a leader on and off the field. He’s well-respected and is an all-around great kid.
“He doesn’t miss a thing in the offseason, even if he’s in another sport,” Franklin added. “He’s always around, and is the prototype, hard worker that is getting what he deserves.”
Franklin noted that while the Blue Streaks have struggled at times and have just two wins, they’ve also played a schedule featuring three Division III playoff teams in Perkins (8-0), Norwalk (7-1) and Tiffin Columbian (7-1), while Ashland (5-3) is still in contention in Div. II.
The Blue Streaks' final two opponents, the Warriors (5-3) and Bellevue (4-4) are both still in position for winning seasons, while Ross (3-5) has two winnable games and can finish .500.
“I don’t think we’re a bad team, because we’ve played some very, very good teams,” he said. “It’s not like we’re playing any winless or one-win teams week in, week out. We’ve played great competition, and when you see us play those teams, Jay stood out in some way every one of those games.”
It’s a legitimate claim.
Moore had a 67-yard kickoff return against Perkins in Week 2, but did not play in the second half because of injury. In the Week 3 loss to Ashland, he had a 17-yard TD run and was kicked away from the entire night after piling up 336 yards on seven returns through the first two games.
Against Columbian in Week 5, he ran nine times for 74 yards, including an xx-yard touchdown run that saw him maneuver and break four tackles.
At Norwalk in Week 6, Moore ran the ball 14 times for 84 yards with 2 TDs, and caught seven passes for 135 yards, including a 49-yard TD catch that saw him make two defenders miss in the open field.
“I think that shows you he is on a level that those other teams are on,” Franklin said. “Jay would play on every team that we played, and he would probably be one of their better players on those teams.”
Norwalk coach Chris MacFarland attested to preparing for Moore’s speed. His personal best time in the 100-meter dash at Sandusky is 10.78 seconds.
“Jay Moore is an outstanding athlete, and his speed makes him very difficult to contain,” MacFarland said. “It is hard for a defense to match his speed and get everyone to the ball. It turns out to be one-on-one tackles, and with his athleticism he makes many people miss.”
Moore played sparingly on defense as a sophomore on Sandusky’s 2011 team that finished 9-2 overall, won the NOL outright and hosted a playoff game. But this season has taught him something else.
“Being on that team in 2011, it showed me where leadership was, and where I wanted to push my team to,” Moore said. “Hey, I know we’re 2-6. But I still want to push my team to be better. This season has shown me what pride is about.”
Moore, who carries a 3.2 GPA, wants to play football in college and major in pharmacy. But before he tackles those lofty goals, there are still two more games to be played.
“I just want to have a good couple of games, and have fun with my teammates that I grew up with in my career here,” Moore said. “It’s still been a lot of fun.”