Jackson brothers guide Highlands to win
TribLIVE Sports Videos
When Highlands needs a thriller, it turns to the Jackson brothers.
Juniors Elijah and Jeremy Jackson gave the Golden Rams (2-0, 2-0) momentum-shifting highlights during a 26-7 home win over Hampton on Friday in Greater Allegheny play. Elijah, older by one year and two months, set the tone with an early touchdown, and Jeremy found the end zone later to help Highlands break away from the Talbots.
“I follow every week,” said Jeremy Jackson, who caught a 46-yard touchdown pass from Blake Leri with 2:20 left in the third quarter to put Highlands ahead, 16-7. “He gets one. Then I try to get one.”
Highlands' biggest play in a quiet first half came on the opening kickoff, as Elijah Jackson grabbed a bouncing ball at the 17-yard line and zipped down the left sideline for a touchdown 11 seconds into the game.
Hampton (0-2, 0-2) repeatedly encountered trouble in the first half. Twice it lost fumbles inside the Golden Rams' 15-yard line.
“It's been the same the last two weeks,” Hampton coach Jacque DeMatteo said. “We have to overcome some youth.”
The first instance was a strip-sack on fourth-and-goal at the Highlands 3 — the Golden Rams took quarterback Nick Grabowski to the ground for losses six times in the first half.
The second fumble stung worse: Running back Matt Rech lost the ball on first-and-10 at the Highlands 12.
Rech, however, redeemed himself on Hampton's next drive, as he ran 42 yards to open the Talbots' touchdown drive with less than two minutes left in the second quarter. The drive, which started at Hampton's 10, ended with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Grabowski to Eddie Edwards.
Highlands again turned to Elijah Jackson for an offensive spark, and the 5-foot-7, 140-pound running back obliged. After rushing for 33 yards on seven carries in the first half, he finished with 91 yards on 17 rushes.
“I don't know if you can bring him down with one person,” Highlands coach Sam Albert said. “He runs so hard every time.”
Grabowski and Edwards, a dangerous tandem for the Talbots, lost touch in the second half. Edwards, who had three catches for 78 yards in the first half, had just one reception in the final two quarters, a 22-yard pickup. Grabowski, who had 121 passing yards at halftime, finished with 143.
Fumbles gave way to interceptions for Hampton. Linebacker Allan Cratsenberg ended the Talbots' first drive of the third quarter with a pick, which he returned 40 yards to Hampton's 22. And safety Nolan Wise snagged a Grabowski pass with about a minute left in that quarter.
“We changed our game plan a little bit at halftime,” Albert said. “We stayed off. We take pride in bringing heat … and our defense in the first half played stout.”
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.
- Strong run game lifts Thomas Jefferson into WPIAL AAA title game
- HS highlight reel: Pair of title games to be on tape delay Saturday
- Gorman: Thomas Jefferson quarterback Kelley savors run after injuries, illness
- PIAA Class AA first-round preview: Karns City vs. Bedford
- TJ-Central Valley football powers to clash at Heinz Field
- Through the Years: Leechburg, Oakmont won WPIAL titles a half-century ago
- Jeannette football prepare for Class A championship game
- High school notebook: New classes put football finalists on the move next season
- Seneca Valley football team hopes to improve in offseason
- Jeannette junior Swinton says ‘football is my life’
- Central Valley edges Mars in Class AAA semifinal slugfest