First Posted: 10/14/2009
PILOT MOUNTAIN If you want wide bodies that take up space along the defensive front, then look beyond East Surry. This line was built to move.
At no other time was that more evident than last week, when the combination of James Gosnell (6-foot-1, 185 pounds), Markus Brown (5-8, 190), Jason White (6-0, 160) and Roby Midkiff (6-0, 200) shut down a potent Villains offense. Senior Garry Butler (6-2, 185) missed the game with a sore knee, but will be back later this season.
The Cardinals, which run a four-man front, matched up well with Bishop, which likes to pull linemen and hide the ball for its quick backfield. The athletic front of East Surry was able to keep up with plays and chase down ball carriers, limiting the Villains to their lowest point total of the season in a 9-7 victory.
Was stopping the Villains at their point of attack crucial in the victory?
They were averaging 47 points a game and we gave up 7, so you answer that question, Diamont said. Against Bishop, these four young men had to make sure they did not penetrate beyond the line of scrimmage. They had to be aggressive, yet disciplined.
When youre a lineman trained to hit whatever is in front of you and take no prisoners, playing with discipline can be difficult.
What makes the Cardinals front fearsome is not size, but speed and athleticism. Dotted with wrestlers and runners from the track team, East Surrys line has been able to run around and through its opponents so far, helping the team to a 7-0 record.
Weve got each others back, said Midkiff, a junior. We talk to each other a lot. Whatever youre thinking, its best that everyone else knows.
Some of the guys have played together before and some havent, but it seems like they have been lined up next to each other for years. Playing within a close proximity has given each lineman a sixth sense to react to what the others are doing.
What makes us the best is were all real close and weve got good chemistry, said Brown, a junior.
That means that no matter what, they stick together.
When someone makes a mistake or something, instead of yelling at them and telling them how bad they did, we lift them up, give them a pat on the back and tell them to do better next time, said Gosnell, a senior who got to show off his speed earlier this season by returning a fumble for a touchdown.
The thing about defensive linemen is if they do their job, then most likely its the linebacker getting the tackle. But this fleet-footed group in Pilot Mountain might just be changing the way people think about the guys in the three-point stance.
Contact Ed Phillipps at [email protected] or 719-1921.