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updated: 9/15/2012 12:25 AM

Jackson racks up yards in Glenbard North win

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By Paul Loth
Daily Herald Correspondent

Glenbard North's Justin Jackson provided 428 yards on offense and special teams and scored 5 touchdowns as the Panthers defeated DuPage Valley Conference rival Glenbard East 56-14 in Carol Stream on Friday night.

Jackson gained 346 yards on 12 carries from the line of scrimmage, believed to be the school's single-game rushing record.

"It means a lot," Jackson said, "there have been a lot of great running backs at Glenbard North, including my brother, and I just tried to learn from them and get better."

Panthers (3-1, 2-0) quarterback Brian Murphy only threw two passes on the night, both to Ryan Storto and both for touchdowns, one for 30 yards and the other for 65 yards. Murphy also ran twice for 23 yards. But the real show was Jackson.

Jackson's fourth carry from scrimmage was for 61 yards and a touchdown midway through the first quarter. The next time Jackson got his hands on the ball was at the beginning of the second quarter, and he ran it 80 yards for his second touchdown of the night. Then, just about a minute later, Jackson was handed the ball again and he ran it into the end zone, this time from 61 yards out.

Just after Glenbard East scored to cut the Panthers' lead to 35-14, Jackson fielded the ensuing kickoff and ran it back 82 yards for a touchdown with less than a minute left in the half.

But Jackson wasn't done yet. On his last carry of the night, midway through the third quarter, he was given the ball on his own 36-yard line and once again ran it into the end zone, his final touchdown run of the night.

"My fullback and receivers and line did a great job blocking tonight," Jackson said. "We had huge holes tonight and executed right."

"If he makes one guy miss, he has such very good speed," said Glenbard North coach Ryan Wilkens said. "Against the run they were walking everybody up tight on the box, and if we made one guy miss, it cut off their pursuit angles. They were doing a good job stuffing us, so we decided to go to the perimeter with Jackson instead. And that also opened up the touchdown passes because they were so aggressive in the middle."

Rams (0-3, 0-1) quarterback Joe Kotch put on a show of his own, passing for 246 yards, completing 11 of 20 passes, one for a touchdown. Kotch also ran 12 times for 60 yards and a touchdown, all in the first half.

"He's an impressive kid," Wilkens said. "Not only can he throw, but he can run really well, too. He's hard to tackle and he's a great competitor."

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