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ATHLETE OF THE WEEK : An Aching Jans Is Caught on Rebound

December 23, 1987|STEVE ELLING

The weekend he was named the player of the game in Granada Hills' 27-14 upset of Carson in the City Section 4-A Division final at East L. A. College on Friday, wide receiver-defensive back Kyle Jan was having a few regrets.

"Yeah, I was so sore I could barely get out of bed," he said.

Yeah, that artificial surface at East L. A. is brutal.

"Yeah, my legs were really hurting," Jan said.

Yeah, starting both ways on every play except kickoff returns can be hell on wheels.

The real hurt, however, was not from playing against Carson--ranked No. 2 nationally at the time--or from playing on artificial turf. It was from playing basketball.

Jan scored 12 points and played in all but five minutes of Granada Hills' 90-86 consolation-bracket victory over Grant in the North Hollywood tournament Saturday night--less than 20 hours after the Prime Ticket network had named him the player of the game for his part in the upset.

"I don't know if it was such a smart thing to do," Jan said, laughing. "I paid the price."

Against Carson, Jan exacted a heavy toll himself.

He twice intercepted passes by Carson quarterback George Malauulu and he caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Granada Hills quarterback Jeremy Leach in the second quarter that gave the Highlanders (9-3) a 14-6 lead.

The touchdown catch was not without controversy. Daryl Wilson, a Carson cornerback, claimed Jan pushed him as the ball arrived. Television replays showed that Wilson, indeed, fell down on the play as both he and Jan tried to catch the underthrown pass.

"They were complaining that I shoved him," Jan said. "I just dove back for the ball."

Wilson, who had been burned by Highlander tight end Sean Brown for a 16-yard touchdown early in the second quarter, had most of the night to explain how Jan was able to come up with the ball.

"I noticed he didn't play too much after that touchdown," Jan said.

Jan, however, was just warming up.

He intercepted a Malauulu pass to halt a Carson drive midway through the third quarter with Granada Hills holding a 14-6 lead. With 6:44 left in the game, Jan intercepted another Malauulu pass at the Carson 35.

He finished with a game-high 93 yards on 7 receptions and finished the season with 65 catches for 950 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also had 5 interceptions.

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