MOUNT VERNON — After a pair of lackluster offensive performances, the University of Chicago football team placed its fortunes in the hands of a freshman quarterback.
That move appears to have been a well-advised one.
In his second collegiate start, Jeffrey Jackson threw for 346 yards and accounted for four total touchdowns as the Maroons routed Cornell College, 49-0, in the Midwest Conference opener for both teams on Saturday at Ash Park.
“The first half we were running the ball well,” Jackson said. “We were getting a lot of yards per carry. In the second half, they started stacking the box and kind of coming after the running backs and me, so we started throwing it.”
Jackson was the Maroons’ backup quarterback at the beginning of the season. After scoring just 17 total points in two losses, the San Diego native started at home against Illinois College and threw for 234 yards and four touchdowns in a 56-9 victory.
“I was just having the mentality that from here on out, we’re just winning,” Jackson said. “We’re not doing anything but winning and getting everyone on board with that.”
The meeting was the first between the two teams at Ash Park since 1980. Cornell lost, 55-10, at Chicago last season, the first year in which the Maroons re-joined the Midwest Conference as a football-only affiliate member. Chicago — a founding member of the Big Ten Conference in 1896 — was a full member of the MWC from 1976-87.
Jackson found a familiar target for a pair of his touchdown tosses. His younger brother, Jacob Jackson, caught five passes for 185 yards and third-quarter TDs of 54 and 33 yards. While both brothers are freshmen, Jeffrey is 13 months older.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
“It’s been awesome, especially doing it together,” Jeffrey Jackson said. “We’ve been together our whole lives. We’re best friends, we’re rooming together so it’s been an awesome experience.”
Tailback Vittorio Tricase ran for a pair of short touchdowns for Chicago (2-2, 1-0 MWC), which visits Lawrence next Saturday.
Former Mount Vernon prep Mickey Hines ran for 88 yards for Cornell (2-2, 0-1), which failed to score in a game for the first time since 2011.
“They played well and they just stayed consistent, but we just shot ourselves in the foot,” ninth-year Cornell Coach Vince Brautigam said. “We just have to make plays offensively. Once you get behind the score enough, then kids start pressing a little bit. We’ve got to get more consistent in what we do.”
Cornell hosts Illinois College next Saturday for its homecoming game.
l Comments: email@example.com