East Xtra: Veteran QB bounces back from a knee injury


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Seton Hill quarterback Andrew Jackson was thrust into a difficult situation when a knee injury sustained in the first game of the 2013 season forced him to the sidelines.

For Jackson, a 6-foot-1, 245-pound senior from Bloomfield Hills, Mich., the worst part was that he was unable to help his teammates as they endured a 1-10 season, the Griffins' first in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference's West Division.

"It was very tough, especially the way we struggled last year," said Jackson, who earned honorable mention honors in 2012, the Grifffins' final season as members of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

He completed 172 of 316 passes for 2,131 yards and threw 16 touchdown passes, the longest scoring play being a 93-yard pass.

But that was 2012. In 2013?

"I couldn't help my team win out there, and I felt I could have done some things that would have helped us," he said.

Jackson said he and his teammates aren't dwelling on the past two seasons where the Griffins have won just one game in the past 22 contests. Seton Hill averted successive winless seasons in the final game of the 2013 season with a 17-10 victory at Cheyney.

"We don't look at the past couple of years," he said. "We're looking forward to the future, and that's all we're worried about."

With his knee completely healthy, Jackson has high hopes for his team.

"Our expectation is to win," he said. "It's simple enough. I don't have any statistical expectation or any statistical goals. The only goal I have is to win."

Jackson hurt his knee at the beginning of the second quarter in the Griffins' 37-29 Week One loss to Fairmont State.

"I was throwing an out route, and I got hit low on the knee," he said. "I tore my [medial collateral ligament] and patella tendon."

With Jackson coming back, he'll have plenty of experienced players returning with him. Three offensive linemen -- sophomores Casey Smith, Darius Jokarzadehand senior Adam Ward -- are back along with senior wide receivers Lance Williams, Norman Darden and Rafael Garcarz.

"It helps out a lot because we're going into the second year [with coach Isaac Collins]," he said. "We'll be running the same offense, and I think everyone will be on the same page."

Jackson said the Griffins' previous offense was a West Coast offense.

Now, the team is in a shotgun and there are a lot more formations.

With Jackson at the helm, the Griffins hope for some more power -- and points -- from the offense.


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