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CAROL STREAM, Ill. -- Glenbard North running back Phil Jackson has been pivotal for his team all season. But perhaps the Panthers' recent playoff run has stirred up some sibling rivalry.
Glenbard North beat No. 4 Stevenson 28-0, with sophomore Justin Jackson, Phil's little brother, helping the Panthers to a commanding two touchdown lead in the first half.
"We came in with a defensive mindset, wanting to pitch a shutout and we did it," said the younger Jackson.
The Panthers got going early scoring their first touchdown, an 18-yard hand off to Justin within six minutes. Glenbard North's offensive line gave quarterback Brian Murphy the time and place to run himself, and utilize both Jackson brothers the whole game.
"People have said we're just a bunch of big guys and that's all," said offensive lineman and captain Dan McHale. "But we've got a great core and when we do our job Brian and the backs make it so easy."
Stevenson sputtered on offense, punting four times in the first 13 minutes.
Later in the second, Patriots' QB Matt Micucci found his arms, nailing three completions in a 35-yard drive down to GB North's 10. But Micucci, who completed only nine of 30 passes, also as kicker, missed a field goal attempt by putting it wide.
On the Patriots' next first down, Tremel Smith picked off Miccuci's first throw, and Alex Mendez did the same a minute and a half later. Both interceptions set up Panther scoring opportunities.
Justin Jackson, who had 112 total yards on the night, converted Smith's pick three plays later on a 44-yard run, making it 13-0. Trevor Hackett missed the Panthers' extra point, but made up for it after Mendez' interception with his own 20-yard touchdown reception, making it 19-0. A second later, Phil Jackson ran in a two-point conversion, to cap off the first half at 21-0 to the Panthers.
The second half wasn't much better for Stevenson. Gaining excellent field position on the Panther 20-yard line after blocking a Panthers punt, Micucci got sacked, threw two incompletes then missed his second field goal attempt from the 23.
Glenbard North's defensive line continued to threaten Micucci throughout the last 24 minutes, sacking him four times. Smith almost intercepted twice more while the Panthers' defensive backs remained rampant, thwarting every single Stevenson drive.
"We were a bit concerned because as a team they're pretty well balanced," said Glenbard's coach Ryan Wilkins. "But our defense rushed the quarterback really well tonight and our offense was spot on."
Player of the game: Justin Jackson, with two TDs in the first half.
The game was over when: Stevenson, at the end of the third quarter gave up unnecessary yardage due to penalties, multiple times.
Stat of the game: 65 yards of penalties against Stevenson, mostly in the second half. An even zero total rushing yards for the Patriots.Play of the game: Phil Jackson's crafty cut left and 46-yard touchdown run, which put the Panthers up 28-0.
Quote of the game:"It's never a rivalry with us and when we're on this field we're one, together," - Jackson
What it means: Darkhorse Glenbard North has toppled better ranked teams each week of the playoffs and now look to challenge the mighty Loyola next week.