Back during summer workouts, Marvin Ridge head football coach Aubrey Carter told the Mavericks’ offensive line that facing their own defensive line day-in and day-out would make them a better unit.
That has proved to be the case so far this season despite the fact the Mavericks’ offensive line returned just one full-time starter from the 2016 season. But the Marvin Ridge offense hasn’t missed a beat and the Mavericks (6-0, 2-0 Southern Carolina Conference) will put their undefeated record on the line when they travel to Parkwood High on Friday, Oct. 6.
Marvin Ridge is averaging 361 yards of offense a game, including just over 200 yards rushing an outing. The Mavericks are averaging 6.4 yards a rush and they are averaging 34.7 points a game.
And the play in the trenches is a big reason for the Mavericks’ success. Senior left tackle Ian White (6-foot-5, 220 pounds) earned All-Conference honors as a junior while classmate and right guard Mitchel Redmon (6-1, 215) started for the Mavericks in the playoffs a year ago.
Junior left guard Chase Fiedor (6-2, 270), junior center Zach Yaggi (6-3, 225) and junior right tackle Anthony Hinton (6-2, 213) are all starting for the first time up front. Yaggi missed time after suffering a concussion but is back at full speed as the Mavericks enter the stretch run of the conference season.
Sophomore Josiah Snapper (6-1, 205) and junior Spencer Williams (6-2, 230) have also logged time on the offensive line.
“We have two seniors that played quite a bit on the offensive line last year and we have three juniors that start for us consistently,” Carter said. “Those seven guys have all played really well. They have done a good job in our run game and they have executed in our pass protection.
Carter said the entire offense benefits from practicing against a defense that is giving up just 12.1 points a game this season
“Every day, they get a good quality look from 10, 11 defensive linemen that all get quality reps on Friday nights,” Carter said. “They do a good job of competing every day in practice.”
White said he has been impressed with the play of his fellow offensive linemen.
“These guys can play and they are all good players,” White said. “We are used to playing with each other and we have good chemistry. The offensive line is playing well and the team is playing well. We just need to keep doing what we are doing. Going against our defense every day makes us better and it makes them better.”
Redmon was mainly a backup as a junior but cracked into the starting rotation during the Mavericks’ playoff run in 2016. He said playing in the postseason helped him ease into a full-time starting role.
“I’m happy I got that experience and blocking for the good players we had on that team,” Redmon said. “I’m blessed to have the opportunity to help this team.”
Fiedor, Yaggi and Hinton have played together since middle school football.
“We have built a real chemistry,” Fiedor said. “When you play with guys you know that you can count on it makes the game a whole lot easier.”
Yaggi said he is back to full speed after suffering a concussion in the season opener against South Mecklenburg.
“I had to sit out a week, but I am happy to be back,” Yaggi said. “It’s fun to be back with this team. I was not used to sitting out because I have been playing since I was seven-years-old.”
Hinton and his teammates are pleased with Marvin Ridge’s start this season but the junior left tackle said a difficult road awaits the Mavericks the next five weeks of the regular season.
“As a unit, we are starting to gel a little bit and we all have a common goal of working hard on the field,” Hinton said. “I think that has shown the first six games.”