MAPLE, WI (Northland's NewsCenter) --- There's more than 900 pounds of muscle on the starting offensive line of this year's Northwestern Tigers.
Make no mistake, though, the bulk of these five student-athletes does not erase their athleticism.
"We've got a very nice group of athletes," Tigers head coach Dennis Scherz said. "We spend a lot of time grooming those 200-pound kids that can move, and that's what we have. It's a pretty solid offensive line."
That solid starting five in the trenches paves the way for two Tigers running backs, both of whom are close to breaking 1,000 yards rushing on the season, but the line is quick to deflect at least some of the credit.
"We don't always have to have perfect blocks," senior offensive lineman Taylor Truan said. "Just get our hands on the guy and they're able to break tackles."
"They definitely help," senior offensive lineman Jake Levine said. "If you screw up, which doesn't happen often, they can usually bulldoze somebody over."
That continued success is no accident within the Northwestern football program, where technique and commitment are words not used lightly.
"It's getting back to what we do," Scherz said. "Not only do we spend a lot of time running the ball and teaching the fundamentals of blocking and tackling, hitting the weight room and the things we do in the off-season are equally important."
"Coaches pound that in throughout the year," senior offensive lineman Will Pederson said. "We're always studying throughout the year and hitting the weight room up."
That time in the weight room is well spent because most of the Tigers say the true key to playing O-line in high school - hit harder than the guy across from you.
"Put your head down and hit them as hard as you can," senior offensive lineman Brandon Rounsville said.
"Just hit hard and move your feet," senior offensive lineman Logan Tuura said.
Not only do the Tigers have two running backs nearing one thousand yards, the offensive line has also not allowed a single sack this season.
Posted by Zach Schneider