Linemen doing job for Coffman
Dre Kendrick ran for 213 yards on 19 carries as the Dublin Coffman High School football team rushed past host Thomas Worthington 28-16 on Oct. 4.
The 5-foot-7, 163-pound junior running back knew exactly who to credit for his three-touchdown performance as the Shamrocks evened their overall record at 3-3 and improved to 2-1 in the OCC-Central Division.
"The guys up front get it done," said Kendrick, whose team plays a league game Friday, Oct. 11, against visiting Central Crossing.
"We always have a good line here and these guys get into that. We had a big line last year and these guys have improved every game."
The Shamrocks rushed for 237 yards against Thomas and have averaged 178.8 yards per game on the ground.
Coffman uses a rotation to keep its linemen fresh, with seniors Andrew Friend (6-0, 210) and Kyle Howard (6-0, 240) playing tackle along with juniors Matt Hite (5-10, 220) and Sam McCollum (6-3, 270). Junior Evan Crabtree (5-10, 220) plays center, with senior Jared Nunn (6-1, 327) and juniors Josh Greenwalt (5-10, 185) and Corey Williams (6-0, 264) at guard.
"They have done a great job for us despite being inexperienced and also dealing with some injuries," coach Mark Crabtree said.
"They have had good chemistry and have got our running game going as well as doing well in pass protection."
Nunn is the only returning starter not only on the line, but on offense.
"Last year, I was the only new guy on the line and this year I'm the one with experience," he said. "I learned a lot from last year's seniors and it made me a better lineman. Now I try to let them know this season what the defense is doing and what they need to know, so that they all will have less to worry about on each play."
Chemistry is important to making an offensive line work as a unit, and Friend said the linemen work on that compatibility on and off the field.
"We have team-building activities so we know that we have each other's backs," he said. "One thing we do is go out to a buffet every week and the seniors pick the restaurant. One time we went to (a pizza buffet) and they came over and told us to slow down a little so the other (customers) could get some of the food. They weren't happy with us."
Although the offensive front doesn't have much varsity experience, Howard said the linemen have a familiarity though a couple of years of playing beside one another at lower levels.
"Varsity is a lot faster than j.v. and the players are bigger, but we have been able to adjust," he said. "We have been playing together as sophomores and juniors, so we were pretty close from day one. We're like brothers out there."
Offensive coordinator Tom Turner, who also coaches the line, said confidence is the biggest factor in the players' progression.
"Their confidence has really grown more than anything," Turner said. "They are a really smart group and have picked things up quickly. Once they figured out where to go and what to do, they kept getting better."