ARLINGTON -- As soon as former Fort Worth Arlington Heights wide receiver Marquis Jackson reached midfield at Cowboys Stadium on the opening kickoff of the Texas High School Coaches Association All-Star football game, his teammates raised their arms in celebration.
And the party didn't stop the rest of the game.
Jackson, who will play for the Kansas Jayhawks this fall, returned the game's first kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown after running through two South defenders and splitting the rest. His North squad, with several area players on its roster, went on to dominate the game and win 38-14.
"I saw a big hole and I took it," said Jackson, who also caught three passes for 60 yards. "I told myself I only had to beat one dude. And if I could beat him, I would score."
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Jackson was named the game's offensive MVP.
"I was pumped for him," said Granbury wide receiver and North teammate Tyler Wright. "That set the tone for the game and we just built off that momentum and just kept it rolling the rest of the game."
The North All-Stars took a 17-7 lead at halftime and led 24-7 in the third quarter after 2A Daingerfield quarterback Tyler Boyd completed a pass to Frisco Liberty's Malcolm Hill for a 45-yard TD.
Local players continued the celebration with two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
With less than 10 minutes left in the game, North QB Jake Howeth (Highland Park) lofted a pass to Wright in the back corner of the end zone. Wright, who is 6-foot-4, reached over a South defensive back and pulled in an 18-yard touchdown catch.
"[Howeth] and I had talked about it. We had seen it open earlier in the game," Wright said.
On the South's next possession, Aledo defensive back Rylan Riney finished the North's scoring with a 20-yard interception return for a TD. He caught a short pass in the flat and, like Jackson, strolled into the end zone.
"It feels awesome," said Riney, who took home the defensive MVP award. "I saw the quarterback roll out and the receiver was wide, so I broke on it, and he threw it right to me."
Euless Trinity kicker Tyler Orwig kicked five extra points and a 30-yard field goal.
"I'm glad to get another win in [Cowboys Stadium]," said Orwig, who played three games in the stadium with Trinity, the last a loss to Pearland in the 2010 5A Division I state championship game.
The North was in line to record its largest win ever -- the record is a 28-point win in 1957 -- until the South scored on a 56-yard run with 49 seconds left.
Brent Shirley, 817-390-7760