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Football Notebook: Jackson is SoCon Player of the Week

Jamal Jackson’s leaping touchdown run was one of three touchdowns that he accounted for in Appalachian’s 35-27 win over Montana on Saturday night at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Photo by Tyler Buckwell and courtesy of Appalachian Sports Information

Sept. 11, 2012. On the strength of accounting for 325 yards of total offense and three touchdowns in Saturday’s 35-27 win over Montana, Appalachian State University quarterback Jamal Jackson (Atlanta, Ga./North Atlanta) has been named the Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Week, the SoCon office announced on Monday.

Also on Monday, Jackson received more accolades when College Sporting News tabbed him as its National Offensive Player of the Week. The national recognition is also the first of his career.

Jackson had one of the finest performances of his career in Saturday’s triumph, accounting for 78 percent of Appalachian State’s offense (325 of 417 yards) in the Mountaineers’ first-ever victory over fellow NCAA Division I FCS powerhouse Montana. The junior completed 24-of-34 passes without an interception for 260 yards and two touchdowns and rushed 16 times for a career-high 65 yards and another score. He engineered four touchdown drives of 60 yards or more, including two in the fourth quarter that sealed Appalachian’s 18th-straight regular-season home victory.

In the process, Jackson extended his own school records with his ninth-consecutive 200-yard passing game and ninth-straight performance with at least 250 yards of total offense — all of which have come in the first nine starts of his career. 

The weekly recognition from the SoCon is the first of Jackson’s career. 

Mountaineers Move Up in Polls
After disposing of No. 12/9 Montana on Saturday, Appalachian State has moved back into the top 10 of both major NCAA Division I FCS polls this week. The Mountaineers moved up three spots to No. 8 in The Sports Network media poll and climbed one spot to No. 7 in the American Football Coaches Association rankings.

Montana slid two spots to No. 14 in The Sports Network poll and dropped three spots to No. 12 in the AFCA rankings.

Another Top 25 Battle Looms
Appalachian will face its second-straight nationally ranked opponent this week, as The Citadel moved into the top 25 for the first time in four years on Monday. 

The Citadel (2-0, 1-0 SoCon) is ranked 21st by the media and 23rd by the coaches in this week’s major FCS polls. The Bulldogs had not appeared in either poll since it spent eight weeks in the rankings in 2008.

Appalachian last faced nationally ranked opponents on back-to-back weeks last season, when it defeated No. 13 Chattanooga (14-12) on Sept. 24 and lost at No. 8 Wofford (28-14) on Oct. 1. The Mountaineers have not beaten nationally ranked foes in consecutive weeks since it defeated No. 7 South Carolina State (20-13) and No. 4 Richmond (35-31) in the first two rounds of the 2009 NCAA Division I Football Championship and has not beaten ranked teams in back-to-back regular-season weeks since 2008 when it topped No. 18 Furman (26-14) and No. 3 Wofford (70-24) in a span of six days.

Mast Fund Collection Brings in More Than $5,300
Saturday’s collection for the William Hunter Mast Scholarship Fund at Kidd Brewer Stadium netted more than $5,300 for the fund established to endow college tuition costs for the newborn son of late Watauga County Sheriff Deputy William Mast, Jr.   

Volunteers were stationed at the KBS gates prior to the Appalachian State-Montana game to accept donations to the fund. Deputy Mast was shot and killed while responding to a 911 call on July 26, less than three weeks before the birth of his son. He was the first Watauga County Sheriff’s deputy ever killed in the line of duty. 

Tailgate of the Game Deadline is Wednesday
The deadline to enter this week’s G&B and Appalachian Energy Tailgate of the Game contest is Wednesday, Sept. 12 at noon.  

To enter, submit photos of your tailgate to appstate@crowdcameo.com. The winner will be invited to bring their party to Kidd Brewer Stadium’s premier tailgating spot — right outside the Echota west gate next to David Jackson and the Appalachian IMG Sports Network Pigskin Prelude broadcast crew!