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Offensive linemen making the difference

by Nicholas Newcomb
Tue, Sep 19th 2017 10:00 pm
Junior running back Justin Morrison (above) hurtles over the Cardinals as the Green and Gold cruise to a Courage Bowl victory. Everyone plays their part and deserves recognition for it.
Junior running back Justin Morrison (above) hurtles over the Cardinals as the Green and Gold cruise to a Courage Bowl victory. Everyone plays their part and deserves recognition for it.
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Offensive linemen put in the same amount of work, if not more, in practice. They dig their heels in every week, trying to hold back defensive lines while allowing their quarterback and skill-position players a chance to make a play. And yet, if the team experiences success, the offensive line is often overlooked because the job title isn’t as flashy as others.

“You definitely don’t get the recognition, but it’s alright,” senior lineman James Grennan said.

Only the best-of-the-best get the recognition and The College at Brockport’s offensive line is in fact among the best-of-the-best, having garnered national attention from d3football.com by getting named the site’s “Team of the Week” following a 31-0 win over Ithaca College Saturday, Sept. 9.

Among the award-winning lineman are Adan Barrientos, Mark Sanchez, Justin Torres, Grennan – all seniors – and junior Caleb Ferdilus. The five of them have been playing side-by-side, literally, in the starting lineup for three years now, and earned a similar accolade from d3football.com last year as well. Sanchez, Torres and Ferdilus all earned All-Conference honors a year ago.

Sophomore quarterback Joe Germinerio was 24-for-37 for 268 yards and two passing touchdowns in the win over the Ithaca Bombers. Germinerio and junior running back Justin Morrison combined for 154 yards on the ground – none of which would be possible unless the offensive line provided enough time to pass out of the pocket or open up lanes for the run-game.

The offense went 9-for-16 (56 percent) on third-down conversions and picked up 23 first-downs (11 on the ground and 12 passing). The Golden Eagle offense ranks in the top-25 in the country in yard-per-game (522.5).

“We’re a good offensive line,” Grennan said. “We work hard and put up some big numbers, but it’s not all us. We have a good system, good athletes at quarterback, receiver and running back … so it’s not all us.”

Grennan voiced the team’s perspective. The Golden Eagles’ success has been a entirely team effort with all athlete’s pulling their weight no matter if they start or if their position is the one referred to in headlines. If the team reaches SUNYAC championships it will be due to the mantra “there is no “I” in team.”

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