Highlands downs Hollidaysburg, 33-14
TribLIVE Sports Videos
On an emotional night following the summertime death of teammate Ryan Richards, the Highlands Golden Rams looked to make an opening-night statement to the rest of the Class AAA Greater Allegheny Conference.
Junior tailback Elijah Jackson ran for 180 yards, snagged an 83-yard touchdown pass and returned a pass interception 53 yards, and the Golden Rams defense held Hollidaysburg to minus-13 rushing yards in a 33-14 victory over the Golden Tigers.
Richards, who would have been a senior wide receiver and linebacker, died in a traffic accident July 13 in West Deer. School officials had a moment of silence for Richards and school custodian Bob Rose, who died from a job-related accident this week.
After a scoreless first quarter where Hollidaysburg stopped Highlands on downs twice deep in Golden Tigers territory, quarterback Blake Leri hit Jackson with a pass near the Golden Rams bench. Jackson broke away from a defender at the Golden Tigers 40 and raced the rest of the way for the Golden Rams touchdown.
“We all came out here with a good mindset,” Jackson said. “We're 1-0, and we want to go 1-0 next week. You have to be ready every week.”
After Highlands defensive end Julian Flenory batted the ball out of Golden Tigers quarterback Caleb Parnell's hands, Jordan Lineburg dove on the loose ball, and the Golden Rams had possession at the Hollidaysburg 26-yard line. After Jackson produced a 17-yard run, his brother, Jeremy, took a pitch left and managed to get a foot into the end zone for a second Highlands touchdown.
Elijah Jackson ran for 142 of his 180 yards in the second half to set up two more Highlands touchdowns.
“Any time he touches the ball, Elijah's a threat to go,” Golden Rams coach Sam Albert said. “Special teams, anywhere. We call him our Reggie Bush.”
But on the ground, Highlands used six sacks to throttle the Golden Tigers rushing game.
George Guido is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Schoolboy pick of week: BV Area
- City rivals Allderdice, Brashear seeking elusive title
- Through the years: Highlands routed Franklin Regional to clinch conference title
- Bracket has Clairton set up to potentially face familiar foes in WPIAL playoffs
- VND High school football notebook: Local flavor enhances Penn Hills, other playoff teams
- Gorman: Billy Holt’s big moment for Albert Gallatin
- Birdie explains why he was wrong
- Previewing some of Western Pa.’s top WPIAL first-round matchups
- Breaking down the WPIAL football playoffs
- WPIAL playoffs have been tough on teams from Allegheny, Tri-County South
- Daily Courier Q&A: Laurel Highlands’ Tyler Slavic