Westmoreland County football Q&A with Ligonier Valley’s Jackson Daugherty

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 | 7:30 PM

As one of the state's most versatile playmakers, Jackson Daugherty has accounted for 1,284 all-purpose yards and 23 touchdowns, scoring via rush, pass and reception for high-powered Ligonier Valley.

He also punts and shuts down receivers as a defensive back.

Versatility, Daugherty said, is about one word.

Athleticism? It surely helps, but not quite what he was going for.

“Honestly,” the senior said, “it takes heart. You have to want to perform for the team and do whatever it needs; wherever you're the best fit; wherever you can make the biggest impact.”

And that could be anywhere on the field, depending on the opponent and situation for the Rams (9-0), the Heritage Conference champions who are ranked No. 5 in the state in Class 2A.

Ligonier Valley is averaging 50.3 points per game.

A fourth-year starter who has been part of 36 wins, Daugherty (6-foot-3, 190 pounds) has 23 receptions for 570 yards and six touchdowns, 614 rushing yards and 11 scores, and has completed 16 of 20 passes for 384 yards and six TDs. He averages 11 yards per rush.

Watch his Hudl highlights and you quickly realize how functional he is to the Rams. He goes in motion routinely and then it's 3, 2, 1 … blast off.

“He has the mindset that he can score every play,” Rams coach Roger Beitel said. “Jackson has so much athletic ability which, in turn, gives him great body control. And then you add to that mix tremendous high-end speed, and he is special.”

An all-state receiver last season, Daugherty helped Ligonier Valley roll to the PIAA semifinals and could pilot another lengthy postseason run.

Some small Division I teams have reached out to him, and he has a Division II offer from Edinboro.

Daugherty is this week's Westmoreland football Q&A.

What is your favorite position to play?

I like to run the ball. But I have been playing quarterback since midgets and junior high, and I was Collin's (Smith) backup. It's nice to go back to wide receiver.

What position do you think you'll play in college?

I hope I get recruited as an athlete. But I will play anywhere. It would be nice to go as a wide receiver.

Playing for high-scoring Ligonier Valley looks like a lot of fun. What is it like?

It's super-fun. You know when you put that LV uniform on, you're not just doing it for your teammates, you're doing it for past players who wore it too. And our fans expect us to go out and put on a show.

Is this team better than last year's that went 14-1?

In some aspects, yes. In other spots, last year's team was better.

If the two teams could play against each other, who wins?

This year's team … it would be high-scoring and close. I'd say this year's wins 50-42.

Why so much motion in the offense?

We send a lot of guys in motion. The offense shifts and you want to see what the defense does. We have options.

What's the deal with coach Beitel wearing a blonde wig to imitate you at practice?

It was funny. We had a fun mock-a-senior thing. I get him back every day with one-liners.

What is your best sport outside of football?

I'd say track and basketball. Probably basketball. I can get up (to dunk), but I can't palm the ball.

What's the place to hang out or eat in Ligonier?

We have a new, super-Sheetz out here. I have to go with the chicken sandwich with mozzarella and sauce.

Can't-miss TV show?

“Game of Thrones.”

What is District 6's perception of the WPIAL in your opinion?

Good competition. I think we could play with some teams; I don't know if we'd go undefeated, but we could play with them.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .


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