Friday Night Hero: North Rowan's Jake Becker
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 7, 2011
By Ryan Bisesi
SPENCER — In his first three games as a Cavalier, Jake Becker has been the opportunistic sort. With three fumble recoveries already on the year, the Lake Norman transfer is usually in the right place at the right time.
Moving from a 4A school to a 1A school usually means a smaller team, but more playing time for those willing to work. Becker grabbed a lunch pail and hard hat and headed to Spencer.
“He got here in the early summer workouts and we looked at him as a tight end then,” Fleming said. “Last week, we had a guy out with a shoulder injury at fullback and we asked him to play a little bit of fullback. He was pretty effective.”
After a heavy load of iron and elbow grease in the summer, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior reaped the benefits Friday night in North Rowan’s first win of the season, a 24-6 win at East Rowan.
Becker scored the first touchdown of his high school career Friday night on a 20-yard touchdown run. Becker had a stellar second half by rushing for 29 yards on four carries and pouncing on a fumble at linebacker.
Sitting at around 190 pounds heading into the summer, Becker added the muscle to make him malleable. When Jaquon Boyd went down with an injury, he became a viable option to run the ball.
“The versatility he offers is a big boost for us,” North coach Tasker Fleming said. “Being able to line up at fullback within a week and being able to pick up the offense and be effective with it is so important.”
With the Cavs already 0-2 and a date with University Christian (Fla.) looming, beating East was paramount in preventing a possible 0-4 start. The game was tied 6-all at halftime. North ran 20 plays in the first half with 41 yards rushing. In the first quarter, the Cavs were dominated on time of possession, only having a three-and-out in the opening quarter. The urgency hadn’t kicked in yet.
After not getting any carries in the first half, Becker ran for 7 yards on the first play of the second. Becker’s size makes him hard to bring down.
“The second half, he made the most of the opportunities he had,” Fleming said. “When he got the got the ball it was 7 yards and 5 yards. He was moving the sticks.”
In the second half, the Cavs’ took over with a steady diet of the run. North ended up with four rushers getting significant carries in Malik Jones, T.J. Allen, Xavier Robinson and Becker.
Becker’s touchdown stampede came with 1:03 left in the game to make it 18-6, finally giving the Cavs that winning feeling.
“It was amazing,” Becker said. “I couldn’t belive it.”
Becker was primarily a linebacker his sophomore and junior years at Lake Norman. He started out as a tight end/linebacker this season. Coming into this year, he hadn’t played fullback since he was a freshman.
“I was excited,” Becker said. “I was ready to make plays for the team.”
Becker has been pretty beneficial on defense as well. The linebacker recovered his third fumble this season in the third quarter against East. The Cavs have recovered a county-best 10 fumbles so far.
“He’s a hard-nosed kid that enjoys playing with a lot of heart,” Fleming said. “He’s a leader in practice and a leader in the weight room this summer.”
When Becker finally reached the end zone to cap the drive and the game, the initial joy of meeting the pylons combined with relief that a break in the action loomed.
“I was exhausted,” Becker said. “I had just got done playing defense. It was the final drive and I really wanted to score.”