Subject Line (article title)
Send to (required)E-mail
Send from (required)E-mail
For one quarter Carmel's primed defense bottled up ballyhooed Glenbard North tailback Justin Jackson.
Four carries. Five yards. Zero running room.
Then Jackson turned a screen pass into a 43-yard gain on the second quarter's first play and everything changed.
The Northwestern-bound standout sidestepped, slashed, sprinted and zigzagged for four touchdowns in a six-minute, 37-second stretch of the second quarter to spark Glenbard North's 35-14 nonconference victory Friday night in Carol Stream.
"I think they were just beating us," said Panthers coach Ryan Wilkens. "They were making good adjustments. We were getting beat at the point of attack a little bit.
"Justin obviously made a lot of people miss. They were there. Just his ability to run through tackles and make people miss helped us tremendously tonight."
Jackson added a fifth score on the first possession of the second half to stake the Panthers to a 35-0 lead with 5:38 left in the third quarter.
He spent the rest of the night on the sideline for Glenbard North (1-1) with 23 carries for 172 yards and 3 catches for 137 yards on his ledger.
"We had to figure out their defense," Jackson said. "Their tackles really spill and they try to create piles. Once our O-line got used to that, they did a great job upfront and I was able to make some plays."
Jackson started his spree with a 13-yard run at 9:05 of the second quarter. He started over left guard, broke tackles there and in the middle before winding up near the right corner of the end zone.
On the Panthers' next possession, Jackson somehow ran a pass pattern that left him open between the linebackers and safeties. He snagged Brian Gasiorowski's rollout pass at the Carmel 40 and sprinted down the right sideline for the 62-yard score.
The next time the hosts had the ball, Jackson took it toward the outside of the right tackle. He found no room there, so he reversed field (inspiring a player on Carmel's sideline to exclaim "Oh, my God!"), shrugged off two tacklers at the Carmel 40 and raced down the left sideline for a 55-yard score and another "Oh, my God" from a different Corsair.
"We had him trapped here and great players cut it back," said Carmel coach Andy Bitto. "You have to have awesome technique and gang-tackling to tackle a Division I player. Obviously, he was head-and-shoulders above us tonight."
Glenbard North's defense limited Carmel (0-2) to 69 total yards and 2 first downs in the first three quarters before Wilkens spread around the playing time.
Carmel dented the scoreboard with Nick Grandolfo's 41-yard touchdown pass to Christian Heinz with 3:38 to play. Tim Nolan added a 1-yard scoring sweep with 48 seconds left.
Carmel heads into East Suburban Catholic Conference play all too familiar with the state's big boys after tangling with 2012 Class 7A runner-up Lincoln-Way East and Class 8A runnerup Glenbard North.
"One would have been good," Bitto said. "Two in a row is kind of crazy, you know?"
Bitto compared Jackson to recent Joliet Catholic great Ty Isaac, now a freshman at USC.
"These two are similar, although Ty is bigger," Bitto said. "I think this kid might be a little bit faster. What is good about (Jackson) is at any point of contact, he's moving forward. He looks like he's going to get 3 yards and he gets 6. That's a big-time back."
"I compliment Coach Wilkens for calling off the dogs," Bitto said. "They did a classy move by backing off and letting our kids get a little experience on the field. I applaud him for that for sure."