Trailing top-seeded Sherman Oaks Notre Dame early in its Southern Section Pac-5 Division second-round playoff game, Long Beach Poly Coach Raul Lara motioned for Kenny Rowe to come to the sideline.
There was no specific directive on that late November evening at Veterans Stadium, Lara just needed Rowe to change the direction of the game.
On the very next play, Rowe stripped the ball from the running back. The Jackrabbits recovered the fumble, stole the momentum and sprinted to a 31-21 win.
"I would always go to Kenny and say, 'We need something to happen here,' " Lara said. "He just came up with big plays when we needed them."
Rowe, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound defensive end, has been selected lineman of the year by The Times.
He finished with 17 sacks, including two against Notre Dame, and anchored a defense that produced three shutouts. In all, the Jackrabbits held 10 of 13 opponents to single digits.
Rowe also filled in at tight end, catching a season-high four passes for 84 yards and a touchdown in a 23-22 loss to Orange Lutheran in a Pac-5 semifinal.
He has taken official recruiting trips to Fresno State, Mississippi, Arizona and California and plans to visit Oregon. Also in the mix is USC, where his brother, Alfred, is a freshman safety.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times