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Naperville North has a solid "Limit the Damage" strategy for dealing with Glenbard North tailback Justin Jackson.
But the theory didn't work as well as it did last year, when Jackson battled for 110 yards in 27 carries.
"You know if it's a close game, he's going to get it 40 (times)," said Huskies coach Sean Drendel. "You figure he's going to get his 150 to 200 (yards). You just hope it's not 300."
Jackson wound up carrying the ball 43 times for 323 yards and 4 touchdowns as Glenbard North pulled off a 37-28 victory in a wild DuPage Valley Conference opener in Carol Stream.
The teams combined for 815 total yards as Jackson's repetitive excellence outlasted Naperville North's repertoire of big plays.
"(Forty-three) carries is a little excessive," said Glenbard North coach Ryan Wilkens. "I wish we didn't have to run him that much. But their uptempo offense not only gives them a lot of plays, it gives us a lot of plays also."
Naperville North's no-huddle attack struck fast as Leon Hardy sprinted 56 yards on the game's fifth play from scrimmage to set up Desean Brown's 7-yard touchdown.
The Panthers (2-1, 1-0 DVC), who piled up 7 sacks on the night, regained momentum on Naperville North's next possession by sacking Connor Johannes in the end zone.
Jackson reeled off touchdown runs of 4 and 24 on Glenbard North's next two possessions to make it 17-7 after one quarter.
The Huskies (1-2, 0-1) responded with Johannes' 54-yard touchdown pass to Brown on third-and-25. Then Johannes' 39-yard bomb to Anthony Rehayem set up Johannes' 1-yard sneak and a 21-17 Naperville North lead with 5:05 left in the second.
Jackson delivered a 3-yard touchdown blast with 28 seconds left for a 24-21 halftime edge, then the Panthers rode him the rest of the way.
The Northwestern-bound Jackson carried it on Glenbard North's first 12 plays of the third quarter and a total of 25 times in the second half.
His 11-yard sweep around the right end gave the Panthers the lead for good with 8:09 left in the third. Jackson also set up the clinching touchdown with a punishing 24-yard run to the 1-foot line, but left the game while quarterback Brian Gasiorowski snuck it in with 2:18 to go.
Not including Gasiorowski's three kneeldowns to close out the game, Jackson touched the ball on 46 of the Panthers' 58 snaps. He sat out three of those plays in the fourth quarter for two separate breathers.
"(I'm) a little beat up," Jackson said. "But, hey, it's football and we got the win. I'll take a little ice bath and be fine next week."