— By GREG WEBB
When you see the post-game statistics in the football recaps, the skill players are the focus of numeric documentation for yards carried, touchdowns scored, passing/receiving yards and the like. But ask a coach — any coach — just what makes the offense go, and more times than not you will hear the precise phrase “it all starts with the line.”
The big guys up front are tasked with protecting the quarterback in the pocket, clearing the path on running plays and screens, and joyfully get to make diminutive defensive backs more than a bit nervous when they find themselves on the business end of an O-lineman blocking down field.
The success of area offenses are in direct relation to the effectiveness of the players in the trenches, particularly heightened this time of the season, as four of the five area teams begin district play.
Aledo at Arlington Heights
Time: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Site: Farrington Field
1501 University Drive, Fort Worth
Type: District 7-4A opener
Last year: Aledo 45, Arlington Heights 2
FW Arl. Heights Yellowjackets (0-3)
Last season: 2-8 overall, 2-5 in District 7-4A
Last week: Idle
Players to watch: S Kabione Guy (5-11, 190, 4.6); QB/ATH Deion Griffin; WR Elijah Peterson (6-0, 180, 4.6); LB Romello Davis.
Aledo Bearcats (3-0)
Last season: 10-2 overall, 7-0 in District 7-4A ,
Class 4A, DI area finalist.
Last week: Idle
Players to watch: LB Jordan Mittie (6-2, 210, 4.8), OT Cory Stitle (6-2, 265, 5.0), QB Luke Bishop (5-10, 170, 4.7), ATH Ryan Newsome (5-8, 168, 4.5), FB Daythan Davis (6-2. 218, 4.7)
Game notes: Aledo head coach Tim Buchanan has individual praise for his starting O-line which translates to being pleased with the performance of the unit through the non-district season. The Bearcats are producing nearly 500 yards of offense per game, due to the efforts of a proficient line and a talented group of ball transporters behind and beside them.
“Ernie McQuade (left tackle) moved in from Georgia this summer when his dad was transferred to Lockheed Martin. He has picked up our terminology and [offensive schemes] very well,” Buchanan said. “At left guard, Wes Harris,is the best freshmen offensive lineman we have coached. If he continues to work hard, he will be the best O-lineman to ever come out of Aledo.