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Zweigart runs wild in Jackson's 27-3 victory
JACKSON — Mitchell McCulley called it.
On Jackson's second play of the second half, Adam Zweigart fumbled and Rockwood Summit recovered.
Jackson's Marcus Harris intercepted a pass on the next play and returned it 47 yards for a touchdown.
"Naturally you get down after something like that," Harris said of Zweigart's fumble. "But Mitchell McCulley picked everyone's head up and said we're going to get this. He kind of picked everyone up."
Harris fulfilled McCulley's prophesy, and the touchdown turned the tide in Jackson's favor. The Indians would add two more scores to dump Rockwood Summit 27-3 in their Class 5 District 1 game Friday.
"It was the beginning of the second half and they were trying to get something going," Harris said of his interception. "I got lucky enough to pick one off. It made it a lot tougher for them to make it a game."
Jackson and Rockwood Summit both are 1-1 in district play. Jackson hosts Central (0-2 in district) while Rockwood Summit is at Eureka (2-0 in district) next week.
Zweigart's fumble was about the only mistake he made Friday night. He gashed the Rockwood Summit defense for 234 yards on 25 carries, including five of at least 15 yards. He covered 69 yards on one scoring run and 62 on his third touchdown.
"It's good to feel the feeling to just get out and score and beat them," Zweigart said.
The conditions weren't ideal for the Indians as the field was a muddy mess. But Zweigart didn't let it slow him down.
"The offense always has the advantage," he said. "If we're in a muddy spot, we know where to push the people. The defense doesn't know what's going on. It's easier for the offense to push them."
He admitted that if he had his choice, he'd choose to play on artificial turf, or at least a clean field. Then he paused for a moment and changed his answer, with mud caked on his arms and his uniform in need of a long soak.
"I would rather have good footing," he said. "But if I can play like this in the mud, it's not a problem."
The first half was a tale of two quarters. Jackson held onto the ball for 7 minutes in the first quarter, thanks in part to two long drives. The second drive ended with Zweigart running around the right side from 9 yards out for his first score.
Rockwood Summit controlled the ball for 7 minutes, 52 seconds in the second quarter, but only could muster a 27-yard field goal after working the ball down to Jackson's 6-yard line. The Falcons gained 54 yards on 19 carries in the first half.
"Mostly our defensive line and linebackers contained most of the runs and didn't let it bounce out," Zweigart said.
Jackson padded its lead to 13-3 later in the second quarter on Zweigart's 69-yard run.
Harris' interception for a touchdown came in the opening minute of the second half, and Rockwood Summit never recovered.
"Last week at Eureka, we had a very good first half," Harris said. "We came out the second half kind of flat. We went out there and said we're not going to do that. We're going to come out as strong as we did in the first half. I think we did just that. We came out and played four quarters."