2013 defensive tackle Merrick Jackson and Althoff Catholic High School fought hard in the IHSA 2A State Championship, but fell short to Mercer County High School. The Golden Eagles defeated the Crusaders 14-7 in a very close state championship game. Althoff Catholic came into the state championship with three losses on the year while Mercer County was undefeated.
It was a big day for the defenses of both Althoff Catholic and Mercer County. The score was tied at 7-7 entering halftime after the Crusaders scored in the first quarter and the Golden Eagles scored in the second quarter.
Then, with 8:31 in the third quarter, the play of the game happened as Mercer County took the led. Althoff Catholic fumbled the ball in the redzone and Dennis Jackson recovered the fumble for Mercer County and took it back 95-yards for the score. Mercer County would hold on to their 14-7 lead to win the IHSA 2A State Championship.
There was a total of eight fumble recoveries in this state championship game. Mercer County recovered five fumbles (one for the go-ahead score) and Althoff Catholic recovered three fumbles. The Crusaders also forced the Golden Eagles to throw the only interception of the game.
Despite losing the state championship, Jackson still ended his high school career on a high note with eight solo tackles, one assisted tackle, one tackle-for-loss, and a fumble recovery.
Merrick Jackson is a three-star recruit. He is ranked 22nd in the state of Illinois and 62nd in the nation among defensive tackles by 247Sports. He also has a scout grade of 77 on ESPN and his best trait is his disruptiveness.
The 6’2″, 310 pound athlete had offers from four NCAA Division I teams, but has already committed to Illinois.
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