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Morris Sussex Sports and Football University are teaming up this season to honor our weekly Player of the Week award. Football University is the leading player development organization in the country that teaches players techniques to perform at a highest level possible on the field.

At the beginning of every week all of the writers at Morris Sussex Sports sit around the conference table and try to figure out who deserves the FBU Player of the Week based on the past weekend’s games.  This week was especially tough because West Morris’s Solomon Holzworth played stellar in the Wolfpack’s double overtime thriller against Morris Knolls, Roxbury QB Grant Dixon was his scintilating self throwing for 335-yards and 5 TDs and Lenape Valley’s Stevie Leyden continues to be the top runningback in Morris Sussex with his heroics against Jefferson.

But the player who we felt was the most deserving for the FBU Player of the Week for Week 8 was Pequannock defensive lineman Jake Foukas.  Foukas was a man possessed on defense making numerous tackles behind the line of scrimmage including two sacks and a safety and being in on virtually every tackle in the game.  His performance was pivotal in helping the Golden Panthers shutout the defending champions Mountain Lakes Herd 29-0 and ensuring his squad a top spot in the North 1, Group 2 playoff tournament.

I sat down with Foukas to talk about this week’s win, what NFL player he emulates and what a state title would mean to this team.

George Muha:  What got into your team this weekend that held the defending champ Mt Lakes Herd to zero points?
Jake Foukas:  Ever since we stopped playing Butler we needed a new team to be our rivals and since we always lose to Mountain Lakes we thought they should be the rivals. Our defense was pumped the whole week and we just knew what to execute and what kind of offense they run. Plus the defense’s goal was to not let them score a point.

GM:  What does this win mean for your team?
JF:  This win means a lot for the team since the Herd always puts a beating on Pequannock sports. It gave us more confidence and it was an obstacle we’ve been waiting to face and that fact that we beat them 29-0 showed my team we’re capable of winning big games.

GM:  What do you attribute all of your team’s success this season?
JF:  The reason I think my teams doing so well this season is because everyone is doing their job on the field. Plus us seniors had a taste of what varsity football since most of us started last year.  So we made sure all the younger kids understood what a “football family” is suppose to be like. We tried our best to show them what the games would be like to get them comfortable with the speed of the game. Another thing we showed them is how important each play, each game and every practice is

GM:  How would you describe the make up of this team?
JF:  Our team can be best described as tough kids who never give up and always have hope we will win the game.
Kids that all get along, have fun with each other, and know how to be serious and get the job done.

GM:  Who is the strongest player on your team?
JF:  Our strongest player on our team is Tom Crooks. The fact that he plays quarterback and playing defense is outstanding.  Tommy is a terrific athlete and by far the most athletic on the team.

GM:  Who would finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the forty?
JF:  Tom Crooks 1st, Matt Forrest 2nd and me 3rd.

GM:  Who is the most serious on game days?
JF:  I think I’m the most serious on game days just because I think about the game and only game.  I really don’t say much until were out on the field about to play.

GM:  Who is the funniest player?
JF:  I think I am the funniest player since I’m always being sarcastic or immature at the right times.

GM:  What was the most ridiculous thing ever said in the huddle?
JF:  The most ridiculous comment in the huddle ever said was “What’s the play?”

GM:  What makes Coach Kopp the angriest?
JF:  What makes Coach Kopp the angriest is poor effort and being lazy at practice.

GM:  Do you have any pre-game superstitions?
JF:  We have no pre-game superstitions.  The only thing we believe in is to be healthy, hydrated, and mentally ready to play a football game.

GM:  What current or past pro do you emulate?
JF:  Ray Louis since he’s just a stud and always lays the wood on anyone who steps near him.

GM:  Who is the best athlete you ever played against?
JF:  The best athlete I’ve played against Dwayne Brown from Dover. The kids got wheels.

GM:  What would it mean for this team and town if you guys hoisted up the state championship trophy at MetLife Stadium in a month?
JF:  It would mean so much to my team if we won states because that’s our only goal for the season and if it was reached we’d all lose it. On the other hand it would mean a lot to my town too because football hasn’t won a game like that since 2001 and it would give the people in town hope for the up coming years of Pequannock football.

GM:  Congrats again Jake and best of luck the rest of the way!

George Muha has been covering high school sports since 2006. He feels high school scholar-athletes are the most important part of the community and highlighting their achievements on the field, in the classroom and within the community is his personal mission.

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