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Sophomore halfback Chris Jackson ran for two touchdowns, caught a pass for a score and threw a TD pass Friday night as Menwith Hill opened its Division III high school football season with a 40-13 victory at Rota, last year’s small-schools champion.

Jackson hauled in a 30-yard pass from Mustangs quarterback Scottie Setzer and ran in the two-point conversion to give Menwith Hill an 8-7 halftime lead in the game matching nine-man teams.

Jackson then ran for touchdowns of 15 and 22 yards to help the Mustangs break open the game after halftime.

Rota lost starting middle linebacker Frankie Esquivel and fullback Gannon Soares in the second half because of injuries.

Jeremy Smith ran four yards for a TD in the Mustangs’ big second half, highlighted by Jackson’s 15-yard pass to Lawrence Alston in the fourth quarter.

Rota, which scored on a 23-yard run by Nick Hernandez in the second quarter, answered the Jackson-to-Alston strike with a 60-yard kickoff return by Caleb Arnold.

Setzer, who matched Jackson with a pair of two-point conversion runs, led Menwith Hill with 11 tackles. Marcos Wolfe and James Stovall, who caught two passes for 28 yards, topped Rota’s defense with six tackles each.

Arnold led Rota with 51 yards rushing.

In the other Division III game on the opening weekend:

Sigonella 33, Alconbury 20: On Saturday at Alconbury, quarterback Bret Gilbert passed for 257 yards and three touchdowns to overcome a 331-yard effort by Alconbury speedster Devin Pryor.

Tyron Anderson, who amassed 165 yards on returns in the nine-man game, hauled in two of Gilbert’s touchdown tosses. He finished with 150 receiving yards. Marco Summerfield caught the other scoring throw, and Jeff Lastrella rushed for a Sigonella touchdown.

Pryor rushed for 225 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown run, and caught an 85-yard scoring pass from Jeff Black to account for most of his 106 receiving yards.

Kerry Kuheana rushed three yards for the other Alconbury touchdown in a game which the Dragons led 14-13 at halftime.

Division III’s fifth team, Brussels, was idle.

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