Players credit offensive line for running success
Noal Reynolds and Thomas Smith are in their third year as running backs for Peabody-Burns, but this year has been different, as the Warriors are seeing their hard work pay off.
“It is amazing, especially to see the kind of change we have made in Peabody the last few years,” Reynolds said. “To be a part of that change is just heart-warming.”
At 4-3, the Warriors are averaging 204.5 rushing yards a game. That includes 104.5 rushing yards a game from Reynolds, but he and Smith are quick to name teammates who have contributed to their success.
“Not a lot of it is between us,” Reynolds said. “That’s all our front-line. They’ve made holes big enough for people to drive through, so that just makes our job 100 times easier.”
The offensive line’s “insane jump” this year also has helped the team win, Smith said.
Smith doesn’t worry about what might happen during a drive because he trusts his teammates and makes sure they know their efforts are appreciated.
“You feed them well,” Smith joked.
In terms of what they actually do, Reynolds finds that it helps to thank each of his linemen after he scores.
“We have enough trust in our guys that they’ll get the job done,” he said.
Blocking at the line of scrimmage substitute for the skills needed to turn 6-yard runs in 30-yard runs. That comes down to speed and field-vision, Reynolds said.
“I love running,” he said. “I love using my field vision and working with what my line gives me, just being creative.”
A major advantage for the two running backs’ is their longstanding friendship.
“He knows what I’m thinking, I know what he’s thinking,” Reynolds said. “It’s just the best combo.”
Smith prefers going up to make a catch but he doesn’t mind when his best friend acts as lead-blocker out of the backfield.
“I love running behind him,” he said. “He’s the best lead-blocker in the league.”
While he doesn’t want to look past their final game Friday at Norwich, Smith is confident Peabody-Burns has what it takes to win in the playoffs.
“It’s just one game at a time, but whenever we get to the playoffs we’ll take care of business,” Smith said.
The Warriors switched from eight-man Div. I to Div. II this year. The change increases how much diversity Peabody-Burns sees on the field. It also means the Warriors aren’t as acquainted with opponents, Smith said.
“Last year we knew every single team, and sometimes it got boring,” he said. “This year we don’t know what any team is or any of their players. It’s fun to have something new this year.”
Last modified Oct. 22, 2020