The stat line for Augusta Christian tailback Kyle Meeks has been more than impressive this season. The senior has tallied 1,215 yards rushing on 228 carries, which ranks him as the top rusher in Columbia County.
Fullback Jay Harmon doesn't get the same number of touches as Meeks, but the junior's 5.8 yards per carry average is also tops in the county.
The numbers don't tell the whole story. Augusta Christian's offensive line, made up of starting left tackle Bo Phillips, left guard Zach Herzwurm, center J.C. Saul, right guard Chase Corbin and right tackle Zach Cooper, hasblocked for the two star tailbacks all season.
"With their performance, they've allowed our backs to have success," Augusta Christian head coach Bruce Lane said. "They don't get any credit, but that's a testament to the kind of football team we are."
Lions fans saw a perfect example of how important their offensive line was last weekend. The Augusta Christian linemen faced a bigger Laurence Manning defensive line in the South Carolina Independent School Association state semifinals.
"They were pretty big," Cooper said. "They weren't just big and fat. They had muscle, too."
The Augusta Christian offensive line was clearly outsized but managed to block for a run game that totaled 139 yards and a touchdown. They also protected Augusta Christian quarterback Tyler Bourdo long enough to sustain a passing game that tallied 92 yards through the air.
Lane said the offensive line's effort is a big reason why the Lions will play for another SCISA Class AAA state championship Friday in Orangeburg, S.C.
At the beginning of the year, it looked as though the offensive line might be a reason why the team would not get back to Orangeburg.
"We lost some quality kids (on the offensive line) to graduation last year - Robert Clifton, Frank Morris and Paul Alewine," Lane said. "We also had our offensive line coach go to Curtis. So our offensive line had some question marks coming into the season."
Now that line, made up of four juniors and a senior, is a strong point in the Lions offense.
"Our offensive line has definitely done a great job. They always know where to block," Meeks said. "When the offensive line blocks like that it's hard to stop us."
The boys in the trenches said they wouldn't have it any other way.
"We do it to help the team win," Cooper said. "All that matters is to get that win at the end of the game."
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