Former Bulldog’s first college touchdown gives team final lead in win
By Joe Naiman
Tyler Jackson’s first college touchdown put Western New Mexico University ahead for the rest of the game when the Mustangs opened their season Sept. 1 with a 54-44 road win over Sul Ross State University.
The 2011 Ramona High School graduate, who is a sophomore on the WNMU team, scored on a 22-yard run with 1 second remaining in the third quarter to give WNMU a 40-37 lead, which became a 41-37 margin after Josh McIntire kicked the extra point.
“It was a vital point in the game, and I was just happy to get the opportunity to try to score for us,” Jackson said.
The Mustangs had fourth down with 1 yard to go on the Sul Ross 22-yard line when head coach Adam Clark opted to seek a first down rather than a field goal.
“I picked up the first down and next thing I knew I was in the end zone,” Jackson said. “I didn’t think I was going to score.”
Jackson credits tight end Brent Courtney and fullback Tyler Perez for the touchdown.
“I went up into a pile and they just pushed me like 15 yards into the end zone,” Jackson said.
Jackson is one of two Ramona High School graduates on the WNMU roster. Eric Box traveled with the team to Alpine, Texas, but did not play. Box, a freshman, may redshirt this year.
“It’s nice having him out here,” Jackson said of Box. “Fits in with the offense very well, too.”
Jackson is one of three main running backs for the Mustangs. John De La Rosa is used for speed situations, Abraham Macias is WNMU’s balance back, and Jackson is utilized as a power back.
“Our coach does a very good job of rotating us in for certain situations,” Jackson said. “All three of the running backs get along pretty well.”
De La Rosa rushed for 102 yards against the Lobos, Macias had 82 rushing yards, and Jackson had 64 yards on 10 carries, giving him an average of 4.9 yards per carry excluding the 22-yard touchdown run.
Last year as a freshman Jackson played in eight of the Mustangs’ 11 games and carried the ball 19 times for 38 yards. His longest run during the 2011 season was for 11 yards.
Jackson will return to San Diego County on Friday, as Western New Mexico plays Saturday at the University of San Diego.
“I’m excited about going to USD to play,” he said.
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- Football team drops halftime lead, loses to Morse
- Six Bulldog seniors sign college letters of intent
- Tyler Jackson finds strong fan support
- Bulldog football sets new goal after 1-point loss
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