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Athlete Spotlight: Evans High School's offensive line

Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Plenty of players, coaches and behind-the-scene type people deserve credit for Evans' big victory over Greenbrier last Friday and the 3-0 record to start the season.

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Five of those people are on the Knights' offensive line.

"Our O-Line might not be the biggest, but I wouldn't trade them for any other O-Line around," Evans senior Trey Henderson said.

Henderson is just one of the many ball carriers Evans has used this season.

The Knights don't have an outright star running back, and 10 tailbacks carried the ball in a win over rival Lakeside two weeks ago.

What hasn't changed is the offensive line.

The starters in the trenches, right tackle Ryan Amrhein, right guard Matt Holmes, center Michael Heredia, left guard Will Brinson and left tackle Wes Ivie, serve as the big boys who protect those tailbacks and senior quarterback Kevin Millward.

They've done their job so far this season.

An offensive line can't always judge its success on sheer statistics, but these Knights have one stat they take pride in.

In the team's first three games, the offensive line has yet to allow a sack.

"I've never had an offensive line that goes from when the ball is snapped till the whistle blows like they do," Evans offensive line coach Mickey Derrick said.

Their shining moment came Friday when the Knights were protecting a 21-7 lead against Greenbrier. Evans got the ball with seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and the offensive line opened the necessary holes to keep the ball, and the clock, moving.

The drive that sealed the win ended with a touchdown run from six yards out with less than a minute left.

"That's our job. As a lineman, I know I've got to do my job well for the team to do well," Ivie said. "When we line up, it's always - you're not going to beat me."

No one has so far. The Knights are off to their best start since 2000. Fans are beginning to compare this year's team to the 2004 Knights, who went to the state playoffs.

Evans head coach Marty Jackson said the 2007 squad is more athletic than that state playoff team.

The offensive linemen see that athleticism every week.

"Our receivers are a lot more experienced now, and that's helped," Holmes said. "Everyone's working as a unit."

Though guys such as Henderson and Millward get much of the credit for scoring touchdowns and winning games, the linemen know that it all starts in the trenches.

"This year, if we give Kevin as much time as he needs, we know we'll succeed," Ivie said. "That's what we've got to do."



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