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ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Jacob Kowes, Ripon Christian
AOW Jacob Kowes
Jacob Kowes

The senior captain knew the Knights’ play did not match their talent in a 21-7 loss at Orestimba on Sept. 23.

That setback makes every game a must-win in the Southern Athletic League, where there is much parity this season. So, Kowes was among the team leaders to take accountability and improve his effort against a dangerous Waterford on the road.

“Not winning that game was frustrating,” Kowes said of the loss in Newman. “It really caused me to recommit to focusing on being the best player I can be, and I think I really showed that the next week. I just knew that when I lined up against the guy across from me I had to do my job and trust the guys next to me. I was able to do my job well enough.”

The strapping 6-foot-2, 220-pound lineman anchored Ripon Christian (2-1 SAL, 4-2 overall) in the trenches, leading a 56-27 victory over the Wildcats (1-2, 2-4). The Knights were able to produce 385 yards of offense, 288 rushing.

Defensively, he compiled a career-high 13 tackles, seven for losses, and 1.5 sacks.

“It showed how well our defensive scheme was put together by the coaches,” Kowes said. “We were well-prepared.”

For the season, Kowes has 37 total tackles, 19 for losses, and a team-high 5.5 sacks.

The Knights have a tough stretch ahead starting with Le Grand (2-1, 5-1) at home Friday.

“Jacob is a big part of what we do,” Ripon Christian coach Phil Grams said. “He spoke about how we should represent ourselves on the field no matter what the score is as Christian men first, and then go out and talk with our pads at the same time,”

“He went out and did that on both sides of the ball, leading the offensive line and being the for our defense. Without him, we’d be a different ball club.”