EAST BRAINERD, Tenn. (WRCB) -- East Hamilton will play in the second round of the playoffs this Friday for the first time in school history, but it will do so without one of its senior leaders.
All-state running back Logan Jackson's prep football career is over after an MRI on Monday revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee this week.
Jackson received the results Tuesday afternoon. East Hamilton coach Ted Gatewood confirmed the news Wednesday in a text message to Channel 3.
The senior standout is scheduled to have surgery later this month.
Jackson rushed for 1,624 yards and 25 touchdowns this season while leading the Hurricanes (10-1) to their second straight District 6-AA championship. The senior standout racked up 89 yards and two scores on just nine carries before suffering the injury in the second quarter of last week's 38-0 rout of Marshall County in the opening round of the Class 4A playoffs.
"There's no replacing him. He's a very special player," Gatewood said. "We have to move forward, so we'll need some guys to step up."
Luckily, the Hurricanes have an experienced tandem of backs to fill the void.
Sophomore Matt Milita and senior Lamond Greer have both played plenty of snaps this season behind Jackson, combining for 849 yards and 12 touchdowns on 101 carries.
"Me and Matt, this is nothing to us," Greer said about stepping into a larger role. "We'll just have to take it over. We run behind a good line and we've got a lot of experience, so we feel comfortable."
While Jackson has played a starring role this season, East Hamilton's offense has proven to be a very balanced attack. Quarterback Hunter Moore is completing 60-percent of his passes and has thrown 13 touchdowns this year opposite just one interception.
"All of these other young men have been going since July also, so they've had plenty of opportunities to get some snaps under the lights on Fridays," Gatewood said. "These guys are very vested in what we do, and they have a great understanding of what we do.
"It's just up to us as coaches to continue putting them in situations to let them succeed."
One player who has found great success in recent weeks is receiver Jacob Noorbergen.
The once little-used senior has emerged as a big play threat for the Hurricanes, scoring three touchdowns in four touches over the last two games.
"It's all just been an answer to a prayer really," Noorbergen said. "I hadn't been getting a lot of playing time, so there were some ups and downs throughout the year. We have a lot of good receivers, so I just had to stay patient and lately it's been my turn to make some plays.
"It's been exciting to do it in these games. I'm just happy I can help my team out."
He'll try to do it again as second-seeded East Hamilton hosts No. 6 Page (7-4) in Channel 3's Friday Night Football Game of the Week at 7 p.m. ET on Hurricane Hill. The winner advances to face either No. 1 Giles County (11-0) or No. 4 Notre Dame (9-2) in next week's Class 4A state quarterfinals.
Paul Shahen and Jordan Tippit will provide live coverage from East Hamilton High on Week 12 of Channel 3's award-winning Friday Night Football starting at 11:10 p.m. ET.
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