The Record

The Jacobson house is about a 15-minute walk from Saddle Brook High School, but on Sundays, it seems like a million miles away. It becomes Chris Jacobson’s oasis of tranquility at the end of a hectic week, a place where the senior running back can rest his aches and pains, nurse his bumps and bruises, and soothe his soul in the company of his parents and siblings.

Jacobson, his dad, Vince, his mother, Deborah, and his brothers Matt and Nick usually grab a comfortable spot in the living room and unwind. By afternoon, there’s often a ballgame on the TV and the aroma of Mom’s chicken cutlets or Dad’s barbecued steaks filling the air.

As much as marathon film sessions or muscle-building workouts, Chris says family-bonding time on Sundays is the secret to his success on the gridiron.

“Usually we just like to catch up with each other and see how each other is doing,” Jacobson said. “It’s just a great way to relax. We’ll just talk for hours about stuff. We usually don’t talk about football too much.”

You could forgive the Jacobsons if Sunday’s conversation turned to Chris’ six-touchdown performance in the Falcons’ 42-14 victory over North Arlington on Friday.

Jacobson ran for 405 yards and five touchdowns on 19 carries. He caught a 13-yard touchdown pass. He added the extra point after each score. On defense, he made 11 tackles.

But of all the plays that helped him earn The Record Male Athlete of the Week honor, his block of an extra point is the one he keeps replaying in his mind. He burst in off the right side so quickly — coach Leo Ciappina says Jacobson’s acceleration is “exceptional” — that he almost overran the play and ended up blocking the ball with his hip.

“I hate when players just hang their heads on the extra point and don’t try,” Jacobson said.

Such a performance seemed impossible a few weeks ago. Jacobson missed a game with a right biceps injury. His return has been hastened by a specially fitted brace.

Because the Falcons had five offensive linemen graduate from last year’s squad, Jacobson has tried to act as a mentor to the new group.

“In practice, if something goes wrong, I’ll tell them to keep their heads up next time,” Jacobson said. “You’re not mad at them or anything like that; you just want them to keep improving. They’re doing a great job.”

Also nominated

Taj Huggins of Palisades Park/Leonia, Jake Donnarumma of Ramsey, Jamal Locke of Ridgewood, Emmanuel Appiah of Lodi, Ryan Adzima of Lodi, Hassan Evans of Bergenfield and Sean Coffey of Cresskill for football.