High school football: Football MVPs led teams to state titles
Not only did Jackson lead the two-time state champion Templars in rushing yards and TDs this season, but he was also the team’s leading tackler from his outside linebacker position. He also punted and ran the occasional play out of the wildcat formation.
Jackson could’ve easily rushed for more than 526 yards and 10 TDs, but coach Cole Meacham loves to spread the ball around to multiple running backs. Not once did Jackson complain.
“He could’ve seen a lot more carries offensively, but there was never a bit of (selfishness) on his part,” Meacham said.
On the defensive side of the ball, Jackson racked up a team-high of 69 tackles. Versatility was his greatest asset defensively though. Not only was he very good against the run, but he was athletic enough to drop back into coverage and serve as a fourth defensive back when necessary.
A big reason why was because he was a student of the game.
“He loved to watch film. He put in probably as much time as anybody else on the team watching film, so he really got to understand the things we were telling him as coaches,” Meacham said. “When he would see a formation or see a motion out of a certain formation, he knew what was coming and where he needed to get.”
Kaden Moon, Duchesne
Few high school athletes will ever experience winning quite like Kaden Moon. In fact, Duchesne didn’t lose a single game the past two years with Moon as a full-time varsity starter.
“He pretty much exemplified what our team is about — just hard-nosed and tough. He wasn’t the most naturally athletic kid, but he just worked hard. He’s probably one of the most competitive kids you’ll find,” said Duchesne coach Jerry Cowan.
Over the past two years, Duchesne went a staggering 24-0 and didn’t beat a fellow 1A team by less than two touchdowns.
At the heart of it all was Moon, particularly on defense as he finished with a team-high 117 tackles this season from his linebacker position.
“Defensively he’s probably one of the better linebackers we’ve had come through here in the last 10 years, and that says a lot 'cause we’ve had some good players come through,” said Cowan. “Instinctively, he could just get to the ball so much better than the guys around him, that was kind of his specialty.”
During his junior season Moon racked up 71 tackles.
Those instincts were very beneficial offensively, too. A year after rushing for 255 yards on limited carries because of Duchesne’s depth, Moon dominated during his senior season with 1,021 yards and nine touchdowns.