Riverdale senior Aareion Jackson was crowned homecoming queen Thursday night at Yenni Stadium. Crown her brother homecoming king.
Donte Jackson scored three electrifying touchdowns to lead Riverdale to a 37-23 victory over Lusher to make this one memorable homecoming for the Jackson family.
“I had to have a big performance for her big night,” Jackson said. “She flat out had the better night though. I’m proud of her. She had been stressing about it all week. I’m happy she came out on top.”
Jackson made sure the Rebels (3-1) came out on top as well.
He scored on runs of 77, 79 yards and 49 yards. He finished with 206 yards on eight carries.
His last touchdown came with 6:35 left and all but sealed it.
“Just do your best Chris Behrman impression, and that’s what I was thinking while watching him the entire time,” Riverdale coach Brett Bonnaffons said. “He is just an amazing player. I don’t even know what else to say about him.”
His last touchdown came just moments after a 10-yard run where he bulldozed over a Lusher defender.
Jackson also had a 59-yard touchdown run called back because of a penalty midway through the second quarter.
But it didn’t matter because Christian Smith connected with Darius Bovie on the very next play for a 64 yard touchdown pass that gave Riverdale what looked like a comfortable 30-13 lead with 6:47 left in the third.
But Diego Griffin returned the ensuing kickoff 89 yards to trim it to 30-20.
The Lions cut into the lead even more late in the third quarter, thanks in part to a 42-yard punt return by Simeon Thomas that set them up at the Riverdale 10-yard line. They had to settle for a 30-yard field goal by Brett Salus to cut it to 30-23.
It was as close as the Lions (2-2) could get.
Jackson was quiet in the first quarter, not getting any touches.
But he took snaps as wildcat quarterback on Riverdale’s first possession of the second quarter. He wasted little time making an impact. After picking up 8 yards on his first carry, he burst through the middle, showing off his blazing speed for a 77-yard touchdown with 9:43 left in the first half.
It jump-started a scoring spree as the teams combined to score three TDs in 41 seconds.
Lusher’s Joshua Barney answered with a 21-yard TD, then Bovie scored on a 64-yard run to put the Rebels up 17-13.
Jackson added a 79-yard run with 59 seconds left in the half.
Eli Poche threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Louis Landrum III, the coach’s son, for the game’s first touchdown that gave the Lions a 6-3 lead.
“He’s a shifty guy,” Lusher coach Louis Landrum said. “We just didn’t break down and tackle like we had practiced all week.”
Poche completed 11 of 18 passes for 104 yards before leaving the game late in the first half after getting poked in the eye.
He was replaced by Landrum.
“We just tried to contain No. 1 (Jackson),” coach Landrum said. “Credit to Riverdale, but without him, they can’t compete.”
Jackson wasn’t just a one-man show though. Bovie finished with 218 yards on 18 carries and scored two toal TDs.
“No. 1 and No. 4 made the difference tonight,” Bonnaffons said. “We had a bunch of penalties (17 for 160 yards) though and I have to do a better job of coaching and fixing that.”