YORK – Whether it was the four-win (plus forfeit victory) 2010 season, the 38-point average margin of their three season-opening victories in 2011 or the lack of a marquee matchup to this point, the York Falcons have flown a bit under the Bay Rivers District football radar.
By extension, that puts those most anonymous of football creatures, offensive linemen, even further from the spotlight. The York trenchmen aren't complaining, though, because the 47 points and 418 yards the offense is averaging is all they care about.
"We're not really concerned about being noticed," said senior center John Riggins, no relation to The Diesel of Washington Redskins fame. "Putting points on the board is how you get noticed."
The guy most likely to earn the spotlight because the linemen's work, quarterback Alex Johnston, isn't overlooking their contributions. Johnston has passed for 588 yards and eight touchdowns, while running for five TDs, as York (3-0, 2-0 district) readies to host Jamestown (2-1, 1-1) on Friday at Bailey Field.
"I feel the more confident playing behind this line than any I have during my (four) years on the varsity," he said. "I try to let them know every day how much we appreciate what they're doing.
"They're big and fast and know what they're doing."
Dominance starts with the size of an interior line that includes four players – left tackle Cody Hendrickson (6-foot-3, 260), left guard Johnny Cruz (6-5, 325), right guard Hayden Crockett (6-4, 305) and right tackle Parker Campbell (6-0, 270) – who average 291 pounds. At 6-0, 200, Riggins is the runt of the litter.
"It's the biggest line I've dealt with in my 13 years of coaching," York coach Doug Pereira said.
But all can move. Cruz, a Division I prospect, and Hendrickson are multi-sport standouts. Crockett, who's being recruited by James Madison and Liberty, and Parker have worked hard and successfully to improve their speed and agility.
Experience is a plus, too.
Only Hendrickson is new to the starting lineup among the interior linemen. Daniel Rutherford, a starting interior lineman last year, has moved out to tight end, where Brad Myers is also a returning starter.
"Because of the experience, installing the offense was by far the easiest it's ever been since I've been a coach," Pereira said. "We literally lined up (in August) and went."
That experience allows the York linemen to change blocking schemes at the line because they recognize opposing fronts so well.
"Whatever a defense shows, we can adjust to it," Campbell said. "We're just looking to make a couple good blocks and give Alex a couple of extra seconds to read.
"If we do that, he'll hit the open receiver. It's about everyone executing."
If they don't, assistant coach Creighton Incorminias will let the linemen know it. Incorminias' lineman have been dominant so far, but he won't allow cockiness.
"He tells us we're good but not great yet," Campbell said. "The (three opening) wins have been a been a confidence booster, but we don't want to get complacent by thinking we're the top dog.
"We still have a lot to prove."
And it doesn't really matter to the York linemen whether others notice or not. A job well done and victories are thanks enough.
"We feel lucky and we're remaining humble," Crockett said of the Falcons quick start. "We don't mind being under the radar if we keep playing like we're playing."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun