Coral Springs Charter coach Adam Miller will say it was all about a great “team” effort following the Panthers’ big 48-21 victory over Boca Raton St. John Paul II in a Southeastern Conference semifinal playoff game on Thursday night at Coral Glades High School.
But with the mention of the name Calvin Jackson Jr., there was no way he couldn’t crack a smile.
Miller watched as Jackson, an “all-purpose,” do-everything, two-way player did just about everything but carry the water bottles as he helped keep the Panthers perfect at 10-0 and vault them into the Southeastern Conference championship game against Calvary Christian on Nov. 14 at Pompano Beach High School.
Jackson ran for one touchdown, 21 yards on an end-around, caught two touchdown passes, of 55 and 41 yards, returned a kickoff 88 yards for a score and, just for good measure, took an end-around with four minutes left and turned into a quarterback, tossing a touchdown pass to Zach Weber to finish off the scoring.
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“I just do what I’m supposed to do,” said Jackson, a senior who is not committed yet but has Utah, Toledo and Akron pushing hard for his services. “They get me the ball and I just try and go out there and do something with it. It was a great team effort, couldn’t have done it without my teammates around me. We came out here ready to fight [Thursday], started out kind of slow but eventually we picked it up and everything was good in the end.”
Said Miller: “He’s just a very very special young man. Everything about him is electric, his personality, the way he runs the football and he’s just a kid who’s not afraid of the big moment and he proved that out there [Thursday].”
Leading 21-14 at the half, Charter made its only mistake of the night when quarterback A.J. Miller, younger brother of the coach, was picked off deep in his own territory. The Eagles (7-3) made them pay when Ryan Rizk found Mike Nestor for a 20-yard scoring strike on the next play, tying the score at 21.
That’s when Jackson turned on the jets on the ensuing kickoff, taking off at his own 12 and never getting touched to put the Panthers up for good.
“To be the first team in conference history to get back the championship game two years in row was important, and we accomplished that [Thursday],” Adam Miller said. “These seniors really deserved their night.”