Sports

Strong line leads Highlanders | Football

With a stout, experienced offensive line, the Hazen football team is hoping to break even more new ground for the program this year.

Last year the team went 7-3, making it to state for the first time since 1993. This year the bulk of the offensive line is back, which is essential for the run-based, Wing-T offense the Highlanders run.

“It’s the strength of this team and we knew it all along,” said Hazen coach Drew Oliver. “Having five seniors on that line does us really well. It fits our style since we’re pretty much a grind-it-out team.”

The line features seniors Cody Moorhead, Jeremy Hazlett, Bryce Sowder, Tyler Wicks, Drew Kelly and Dom Orsillo. Moorhead is a four-year starter and already has three Division I offers.

The only concern will be keeping the linemen fresh. Most of them play on defense, too, and Oliver said experienced depth is lacking right now.

“They were dog tired after Friday’s game,” he said.

Hazen opened the season with a 37-28 win against Franklin Pierce. The Highlanders trailed going into the fourth quarter but outscored Franklin Pierce 17-0 to take the win.

“It was a very shaky start, but they were gritty and made the adjustments we needed,” Oliver said.

Junior Mason Jacobs rushed for 111 yards and three touchdowns in the game and will be vital to the rushing attack. Fullback Joe Glaefke will also play a big role. Oliver said of Glaefke, “He’s a big battering-ram type of guy.”

The team will also get a boost from Tony Nipert returning at quarterback. The senior missed most of the second half of last season with an injury.

Senior Zach Cable is  a transfer from Georgia and will step into the linebacker spot, playing as the captain of the defense on the field.

“It’s definitely a goal of ours to continue to play in November and have meaningful games,” Oliver said. “That’s always our goal going out. It’s just a matter of how we respond to things in season.”

 

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