FAIRFIELD, Ohio — Fairfield juniors Jordan Jackson and Josiah Jackson – twin brothers – have been playing football together since the first grade.
"Our bond is very close, especially off the field," Josiah Jackson said. "We might not be playing on the same side of the ball but we know what we have to do."
Jordan is a Fairfield running back after starting the season at cornerback. Josiah started at free safety and changed to cornerback.
Football and fun extends beyond Fairfield Alumni Stadium. Jordan may be the better Madden video game player with his preferred team, the Cincinnati Bengals.
Josiah, described as more vocal, is a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. He admits his brother is probably the better Madden player.
"Those could get a little intense sometimes, but it's all love," Jordan said with a smile.
There is no debate the talented brothers definitely share a dedication to the Fairfield football program while motivating each other prior to games.
"They're all in – there is no doubt," Fairfield coach Jason Krause said. "They're all in with Fairfield football. They're football players. They're leaders. They work hard. Obviously, they bring a lot to the table athletically and you can count on them."
Fairfield (6-4), the No. 8 seed in Division I, Region 4, is counting on Jordan and Josiah among others in preparation for a regional quarterfinal against No. 1 seed Moeller (8-3) at Norwood's Shea Stadium Friday night.
"It's a huge game against a very good team," Josiah Jackson said. "They have the stats, they have the players, but I feel like we're going to come out with a big win and shock the city, shock the world."
Krause lauded Jordan and Josiah for how they successfully transitioned from position changes in the second half of the season for Fairfield, which has won four consecutive games entering Friday night.
Jordan had 15 carries for 270 yards rushing and three touchdowns in a 28-21 first-round win over visiting Mason Oct. 29. He had 100-plus yards rushing in two games prior to that.
"Obviously for me it's a big accomplishment, but I'd also like to give a shout-out to my o-line for helping me out and my receivers for awesome perimeter blocking versus Mason," Jordan Jackson said. "I think that was probably one of the best games I had at running back."
Krause asked Jordan if he would be willing to play running back during a Sunday practice midway through the season. Jordan hadn't played running back since Pee-Wee football but he embraced the challenge. He's rushed for 973 yards and six touchdowns overall.
"Jordan was a guy who started the season at corner for us the first few weeks and we were just looking for something a little more dynamic in the backfield," Krause said.
"Somebody who could go the distance anytime they touch it. Obviously the speed that he brings to that position is allowing him to do that and he's been doing that the last few weeks."
Josiah has thrived in his cornerback position, knowing he's always had the cover skills to play the position. He has 48 tackles (40 solo), two interceptions and a fumble recovery in nine games, according to the Greater Miami Conference website.
He moved from the pilot position, which is Fairfield's free safety spot, to corner around the same time Jordan moved to running back.
"Since he's moved to corner he's not giving up a pass catch yet," Krause said. "Just a better cover guy as far as playing the corner position, so two really good moves that have helped us as a team across the board."
Josiah and Jordan have enjoyed seeing each other succeed and the journey this season. The impact of the football program goes beyond athletics.
"Fairfield football has meant a lot to me," Josiah Jackson said. "I've grown a bunch of bonds that will go on forever. A bunch of brothers, a bunch of coaches that are kind of like father figures, you know. They really help me out, and not just on the field but off the field."