High School Sports

'Lucky' Jackson helps fuel Lafayette's playoff run

Lucky Jackson, left, took a Walker Wood pass in for a score in the Generals' 41-7 rout at Paul Dunbar Sept. 19. "He makes big plays because he's good, not because he's lucky," Wood said.
Lucky Jackson, left, took a Walker Wood pass in for a score in the Generals' 41-7 rout at Paul Dunbar Sept. 19. "He makes big plays because he's good, not because he's lucky," Wood said. Herald-Leader

Dontavion Tashawn Jackson has been called "Lucky" as long as he can remember.

"It's something my mom gave me at birth," he said, "so I've always been Lucky."

The nickname is a cool fit for a football hero.

Jackson has been asked more than once, after making big plays as a wide receiver for Lafayette, if he'd rather be lucky or good.

"I'd rather be good," he always says, always laughing.

Walker Wood, the Generals' sophomore quarterback and Jackson's close friend, has an informed opinion.

"He makes big plays because he's good, not because he's lucky," Wood said.

Lafayette is lucky to have Jackson. He's a big reason the No. 13 Generals are in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs. They host No. 11 Simon Kenton on Friday night.

Jackson has 42 catches for 915 yards and 13 touchdowns this year, giving him 83 catches for 1,704 yards and 17 TDs in his career.

Also a threat as a kick/punt returner, he has 1,334 all-purpose yards this season.

But Jackson doesn't have to snag a single ball to be instrumental in the Generals' success. Lafayette Coach Eric Shaw said Jackson has a bigger impact as a leader than as a play-maker.

"He's that spark plug," Shaw said. "He motivates verbally, and he motivates by giving it all he's got on the field. He gets more excited blocking for a running back than he does getting the ball thrown to him.

"He's a true team player, the kind of guy you love to play with and love to coach."

Jackson said his mom, Sanorea Jackson, instilled those qualities in him.

"She's big on discipline and not being a follower," Lucky said. "She always wanted me to be a leader in life, to go with my heart and not what's around me."

There's no disputing Jackson's talent. The 6-foot, 173-pound senior, who has committed to Western Kentucky University, has 4.4 speed, terrific hands and a knack for performing at crunch time.

One example: Lafayette trailed Lexington Catholic 24-20 with just over two minutes to play when Wood flicked a screen pass to Jackson. He sidestepped a tackle and raced 55 yards down the sideline to the Lexington Catholic 5. Two plays later, Wood got the winning TD.

"Lucky's a great guy to throw to," Wood said. "He's really fast, really quick and he jumps high. He's a world-star athlete who makes life a lot easier for me."

When pressed to catalog his best plays, Jackson resists. Instead, he talks about how "the best part of football is putting in all the hard work with my brothers during the week and then watching us perform great on Friday night."

And that's really why Dontavion Tashawn Jackson considers himself lucky.

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