Football’s “battle in the trenches” is fought at the line of scrimmage. The Offensive line at war with the defensive front. These players are the only men on the field who make physical contact every single play. Every down there are individual battles fought between these men that will, over the course of the game, decide who wins… and who loses. Every offensive lineman is graded on his performance after the game. For the Indians, last Friday night was as close to perfection as they have performed all year.
Chattooga’s offensive line ALL graded out over 88% in the Washington County 2nd Round Playoff game. To put this in perspective, there are some games when no single player on the o-line grades above an 80%. This is what an offensive coordinator calls, “firing on all cylinders.”
Washington County went to great lengths to stop the run threat of the Indians by “stacking the box.” All defensive lineman and linebackers crowd the line of scrimmage and the corners play in tight. Defensive coordinators do this when they are anticipating the run and, against the Chattooga offense, loaded with run talent, every defense has been dared to stop the run. By playing ten guys in the box, which is literally unheard of, the offensive line is forced to battle even harder.
Chattooga’s offensive line accepted the challenge against Washington County. They were so physical and dominating, “many times we were driving defensive lineman into linebackers, which is to say we were getting such a great push up front that the surge was blocking their second level defenders” said David Gann, Assistant Head Coach and Chattooga’s O-line Coach.
“You’re not supposed to be able to run against that many players in a box, but we had almost 400 yards rushing against that defense… basically a run stopping alignment,” said Coach Gann.
In his first year at Chattooga, Coach Gann is proving to be a huge asset. When asked about the o-line’s performance against Washington County, Gann said it was “the best performance by an offensive line as a group that I have had in my 22 years of coaching.”
The speed and finesse of the Foster Twins, the power of Griffin and Adams at fullback, and the mix up of Price and Perry, have given the Indians a diverse running attack that is only now reaching its full potential. The offensive line was tremendous against the Golden Hawks, allowing this diverse rushing attack to average an astounding 8.5 yards per carry. Their pass blocking set up 66 yards through the air and kept the defense off balance all night. The big men up front set the tone for the night early by controlling the line of scrimmage in such a dominant fashion, the Indians scored on all 4 possessions in the opening half and left the Hawks searching for answers that would never come.
The O-Line against Washington County was comprised of:
CJ Martin (tight end)
Isaiah Curtis (tight end)
Armand Ford (center)
Big Mike Adams (guard)
Alijah Neal (guard)
Dustin Pope (tackle)
TJ Howington (tackle)