It nearly takes an army of defenders to stop Boling’s Vernon Jackson when he takes off running. And sometimes that’s not even enough to bring him down. Jackson, only a junior, stands at 6-foot-3, 235 pounds — not too shabby for a quarterback. And his stat line has been nothing short of remarkable.
The Lexington defense stacked all 11 defenders within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage in last week’s state quarterfinal in Navasota. It worked at first. The Eagles tackled Jackson for a loss on the first series and forced a fumble on the next. Lexington built a 14-0 lead and it looked to be a long night looming for the Boling Bulldogs.
Then, the Vernon Jackson show began.
Facing a third-and- 9 and with Boling’s offense looking completely lethargic against Lexington’ defense to this point, Jackson made a play that looked like a Cam Newton highlight on a dazzling 69-yard touchdown on a quarterback draw. He broke tackles, slithered through the defense and gave a big stiff arm in the process. On the next drive, the big quarterback ran up the middle untouched for an 81-yard score.
Jackson rallied his team from down two touchdowns to a seven-point lead at the half. Jackson rolled, rumbled and sprinted his way to 281 rushing yards and five touchdowns in the 34-29 win.
In the previous week, Jackson rushed for 497 yards and seven touchdowns on just 23 carries in a 62-35 win over Odem. In a 34-7 win over Schulenburg during district play, he ran for a modest 167 yards and four touchdowns on 17 rushing attempts.
He has rushed for 1,967 yards and 32 touchdowns this season, averaging 14.2 yards per run and 151 yards per game.
Jackson, who has an offer from TCU, is by far the biggest player on the field, and he has open-field speed, which makes him so tough to bring down — especially in Class 3A ball.
He’s shown that he can throw the ball, too. In a 42-7 homecoming victory over Tidehaven, he completed 7-of- 9 passes for 159 yards and three touchdowns. He only had three attempts against Lexington last week, but the field and ball were extremely slick because of the monsoon that fell on Rattler Stadium.
Jackson has completed 54-of-90 attempts this season for 795 yards for six touchdowns and just three interceptions.
Jackson and the Boling Bulldogs (12-2) will face Arp (12-2) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at New Caney’s Texan Drive Stadium in the Class 3A Division II state semifinal. The winner moves on to the state final to face the winner of Canadian (12-2) and Gunter (14-0).
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