Jackson returns to Demopolis as Tigers take on Concordia

Published 10:53 am Thursday, September 26, 2013

Martaze Jackson is coming home Thursday night and bringing 71 of his closest friends with him.

Jackson and the University of West Alabama football team are hosting Concordia College Thursday evening in the stadium where Jackson played his high school football. Kick off is set for 6 p.m. at Tiger Stadium at Demopolis High School.

West Alabama comes into the game with a 2-1 record after winning 45-3 at Florida Tech last week. Concordia is 0-2 and was forced to cancel at Miles College last week when one of the charter buses carrying the team caught fire, destroying the Hornets’ equipment.

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“What they have gone through this week is a tough deal,” Hall said. “I can’t imagine having to prepare to play while figuring out how to round up new shoulder pads, helmets and jerseys.

“Still, we expect them to come out ready to go, but we also expect to be ready to play,” Hall said. “We just need to do what we do and take care of our business. That’s what we can control and that’s what I expect us to do.”

In addition to winning a state championship at Demopolis in 2009, Jackson was also the Defensive MVP in the U.S. Army All-America Junior Combine. Of the 92 tackles he recorded as a junior and senior at DHS, 51 were made behind the line of scrimmage.

Jackson signed with Tennessee and reported to campus in January 2010, but eventually transferred to East Central (Miss.) Community College before signing with West Alabama in time for 2012 spring drills.

“I feel very comfortable at West Alabama and I am really looking forward to coming home to play Thursday,” Jackson said. “I am looking forward to getting to spend some time with my family and my high school coach (Tom Causey) after the game.”

Jackson is part of a four-man rotation at defensive end for West Alabama and has recorded nine tackles, including two for loss and one sack.

“That’s a pretty salty rotation we have at defensive end with Martaze, Mario Gainer, Ryan Jones and Tirelle Cullen,” UWA head coach Will Hall said. “It’s a lot of fun to watch them play if you are wearing red and a Tiger Paw on your helmet.”

UWA comes into the game leading the Gulf South Conference and is fifth in the nation in total offense at 563.7 yards per game. The Tigers lead the conference in points per game at 43.0. In fact, UWA’s quick-strike offense has scored a touchdown on either the first or second play of three of the last four quarters.

The American Football Coaches Association ranks UWA 15th nationally and D2Football.com has the Tigers 14th.

Running back Javae Swindle has run for a GSC-leading 340 yards in just 30 carries (11.3 ypc) and wide receiver Seth Roberts already has five touchdown receptions in just three games.

Senior safety Demetruce McNeal leads UWA defenders with 17 tackles. UWA’s other starting safety, Robert Jones, has 16 and leads the GSC in passes defended at 1.5 per game. The Tiger defense has recorded 20 tackles for loss and six quarterback sacks.

Tickets, $10 for general admission and $5 for student’s 17-and-under, will be available at the gate. UWA season tickets and all sports passes will be honored. Parking passes for normal home games will not be honored, however. The cost of paring is $5.

UWA students with a valid ID card will be admitted free and the UWA Athletics Student Rewards Program will be in effect when the cards are swiped at the gate.