Jackson leads Raiders to emotional victory

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The following are odds and ends from the local sports scene.

JACKSON, RAIDERS EARN EMOTIONAL WIN

The end of an era — with the Oakland Raiders and the National Football League — came Saturday when iconic Raiders owner Al Davis died. He was 82.

One of Davis' last major moves came in January and it involved a local tie.

Davis gave Coach Hue Jackson, a former Glendale Community College quarterback, his first head-coaching job in January. Jackson landed the role after leading Oakland's offensive resurgence last season. Jackson, who was the Vaqueros' signal caller from 1983-84 and was an All-Western State Conference selection, succeeded Tom Cable.

Jackson was brought in prior to the 2010 season and took over the play-calling duties from Cable and turned around an offense that had slumped in recent seasons. Oakland scored more than twice as many points in 2010 than in 2009, as the Raiders avoided their eighth consecutive losing season.

Those credentials impressed Davis and paved the way for him to elevate Jackson's status with Oakland.

Under Jackson, the Raiders have improved. On Sunday, the Raiders rallied for a 25-20 road win against the Houston Texans and raised their record to 3-2.

Jackson endured one of the toughest moments of his career Saturday, when he announced Davis' death to the team. The emotions spilled over to Sunday's contest and during the postgame news conference.

"Trust me when I tell you this is coach Davis' football team," Jackson told the Associated Press. "I'm just getting the opportunity to run it and lead it. Everything I do is with every thought [with him]. That's going to be my guiding light as I go through this season.

"[Saturday] was a tough day, but I could see the gleam in their eyes. They weren't going to stop fighting. We truly, honestly believed that coach was here with us [Sunday]. I believe that wholeheartedly. I know he's looking down on this team and he's with us every step of the way."

The Raiders, who are in second place in the American Football Conference's West Division, will meet the visiting Cleveland Browns at 1 p.m. Sunday.

REID FEELING HEAT IN PHILLY

Things have not gone as planned for the Philadelphia Eagles, who are led by Coach Andy Reid, a former Glendale Community College football player. Philadelphia spent plenty of money during the offseason to bring in some big-name free agents who have yet to pan out.

The Eagles suffered a 31-24 road loss against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday and fell to 1-4. Philadelphia entered the season as the favorite to win the National Football Conference's East Division and contend for the Super Bowl. The Eagles have lost four games in a row.

Philadelphia, which won the division championship last season, is three games behind the first-place Washington Redskins. Philadelphia will travel to Washington on Sunday.

With turnovers piling up — quarterback Michael Vick threw a career-worst four interceptions against Buffalo — tension has begun to mount in Philadelphia. Vick has tossed seven interceptions this season.

With the losses mounting, Reid, the reigning NFL Coach of the Year who took over as Philadelphia's coach in 1999, has faced rumblings concerning his job security.

"In the National Football League, your job is on the line every week," Reid told the Associated Press on Monday. "I thought the effort was good. I thought as the game went on we continued to get better in most phases of the game. There are some good things we can take out of this game."

Reid said he has no plans to make major changes on both sides of the ball, and will continue to work alongside his coaches with the same schemes that were installed earlier in the season.

TEAMS EARN CIF RANKINGS

Eight local high school teams received CIF recognition after the CIF office unveiled its latest rankings Monday.

The Crescenta Valley High girls' and Flintridge Prep boys' cross-country teams were the lone teams to move up, while the remaining teams stayed put. The Falcons jumped from eighth to sixth in Division I, while the Rebels moved up a spot to third in Division V.

The Crescenta Valley football team, which picked up a 27-20 Pacific League win against rival Muir on Friday, is ranked ninth in the Southeast Division.

St. Francis' football team stayed at No. 4 in the Western Division following its 9-3 nonleague home win against Paso Robles on Thursday at Friedman Field.

A pair of boys' water polo teams are ranked in Division V. Glendale is ranked fifth and Hoover is ninth.

Those ranked among the girls' cross-country teams are Flintridge Sacred Heart at No. 5 in Division IV and Flintridge Prep holding the sixth spot in Division V.

QUARTERBACK CLUB SET TO MEET

The Glendale YMCA Quarterback Club will hold its fifth meeting of the year at 11:30 a.m. today at The Elk's Lodge, 120 E. Colorado St., Glendale.

The club, which is in its 69th year, is geared to support the Crescenta Valley, Glendale, Hoover, St. Francis and Village Christian high football teams and the Glendale Community College football program.

The guest speakers will be a senior vice president of Farmers Insurance and an executive from AEG to discuss the new football stadium in Los Angeles and the future of the NFL in Los Angeles.

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