Owens named WDN Defensive Player of the Year
Published 9:06 pm Saturday, January 10, 2009
By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
CRESWELL — Ralphon Owens had a season that the folks in Creswell will be buzzing about for years to come.
Owens intercepted nine passes and returned seven of them for touchdowns, while also logging 78 tackles to help Creswell go 10-2 and win the Tideland Athletic Conference crown.
He also recovered three fumbles, returning one of them for a score.
In all, he logged 20 touchdowns in 2008 — seven by interception, six receiving, five rushing, one by fumble recovery and one via a kickoff return.
Still, the Tigers’ senior linebacker was left with a bitter taste in his mouth after Creswell was ousted from the state playoffs in the third round by Williamston.
Owens left the field feeling like the 2008 season could’ve been even better.
While Owens stopped short of calling the season that he had spectacular, others weren’t at hesitant. Creswell coach Wayne Rodgers called his senior linebackers play, “one of the best he’s ever seen.”
And the Washington Daily News agrees. After a superb senior season, Owens has been named the Daily News’ High School Football Defensive Player of the Year.
According to maxpreps.com, Owens’ nine interceptions were the second most in the state this season behind Leesville Road (Raleigh) defensive back Zach Gentry, who netted 10 interceptions.
Owens was the only player in the state to return more than five interceptions for touchdowns this season.
Owens had his best game of the season in a 55-0 win over Columbia in early October. The Creswell star intercepted four passes, returning three of them for touchdowns and logged nine tackles. He also caught two touchdown passes in that game.
It was about time something started going his way.
Last season, Owens suffered a hip injury that ended his junior campaign prematurely.
After spending much of his junior year on the sideline, Owens came out determined to show everyone that he was back to full health this season.