Jackson helps VSU clinch first win
Fred Jeter | 9/27/2018, 6 a.m.
Home sweet home
Saturday, Sept. 29
Virginia State University plays Shaw University at Rogers Stadium in Ettrick; Military Appreciation Day. Kickoff: 6 p.m.
Andre Jackson won the Virginia high-jump championship his senior year at Hampton’s Phoebus High School.
Considering that, it’s no wonder he has quickly hopped into the spotlight as a redshirt freshman receiver and kick returner for Virginia State University.
Wearing jersey No. 1, Jackson is among the athletes VSU fans will be excited to watch Saturday, Sept. 29, when the Trojans play their long-awaited home opener.
CIAA rival Shaw University will supply the competition for Saturday’s 6 p.m. kickoff. The Bears are 1-2 following a 42-0 loss to Campbell University last Saturday.
After opening losses at Norfolk State and Robert Morris universities, the Trojans regained momentum last Saturday with a 43-14 victory at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C.
VSU supporters in Charlotte were treated to a two-touchdown performance from the 6-foot, 170-pound Jackson.
The dynamic Trojans newcomer got the scoring started with a 40-yard touchdown on a punt return. He later snared one of quarterback Cordelral Cook’s three touchdown passes against the Johnson C. Smith Golden Bulls, 0-3.
On the season, Jackson has averaged 14 yards on punt returns and 26 yards running back kickoffs. He’s among those explosive athletes who always seem one step from taking it to the house.
For Phoebus High School, Jackson high jumped 6 feet, 8 inches to win the 2017 State 3A title in Harrisonburg. Jackson also excelled as a sprinter and long and triple jumper for the Phantoms.
On the gridiron, Jackson was All-Conference 27 as both a receiver and defensive back. He accumulated 1,576 yards total offense for Phoebus, with 15 touchdowns and five defensive interceptions.
Jackson first committed to Virginia Tech as a preferred walk-on before accepting VSU’s scholarship offer from Coach Reggie Barlow. He sat out last season to adjust academically.
The Trojans are solid at quarterback with senior Cook, but the hunt continues for the successor to Trenton Cannon — now with the New York Jets — at tailback. At Johnson C. Smith, Darrell Olivier led the Trojans ground game with 43 yards on seven totes. Olivier is a junior from Washington.
Kwabe Boateng from Freedom High School in Woodbridge had two VSU sacks in Charlotte while Will Adams of Hermitage High School in Glen Allen collected an interception.
VSU and Shaw represent opposite ends of CIAA football. The Trojans are 45-13 since 2013 and are the reigning conference champ. Shaw, playing home games at Durham Stadium in absence of an on-campus facility, is 10-33 since 2014.
The Trojans and Bears last met in 2013, with VSU defeating Shaw 14-10. In better days, Shaw won CIAA titles in 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2010.