Is Glenbard North one of the best high school football teams in Illinois? Justin Jackson, running back for the Panthers, made their case on Saturday in a 23-14 win against Stevenson.
The Panther junior running back almost played the whole game against visiting Stevenson, in the Class 8A second-round.
Jackson scored three touchdowns, contributing 18 of the Panthers 23 points. He rushed for 216 yards, carried the ball 48 times and caught two passes for 28 yards. Jackson even showed his versatility by playing cornerback and punter.
“I am so tired…I’m going to tell my dad to get (the ice bath) ready. It’s weird because this was an afternoon game, and we haven’t had one of these since last year…” says Jackson.
Jackson definitely needed to rest, but Glenbard North needed his full effort.
“We were actually talking in the locker room and said he was getting tired, but I knew he wasn’t going to let down one bit,” says Brian Murphy, Glenbard North quarterback.
The game between Stevenson went down to the wire. The game wasn’t decided until Murphy hit Kendall Holbert with a 37-yard play action pass. This play gave the Panthers the ball at Stevenson’s 27 with a 17-14 lead.
Jackson ran the next eight plays and Stevenson had no answers.
“Jackson’s a great runner and they’re big and physical up front…we knew they were going to give him the ball 30 or 40 times, so we just had to toughen up,” says Bill McNamara, Stevenson coach.
Stevenson had their opportunities to win the game, but Glenbard North was just too good in the closing stretch.