November 26, 2008

Ground game powers Moriah

Running game has powered 12-0 Moriah

MINEVILLE — A lot goes into an undefeated season for a high school football team.

The team must find an identity, build on it and find a way to execute it every single week, regardless of the opposition's adjustments and studying of film.

The 2008 Moriah Vikings have established their identity — the running game — and no one has figured out how to stop it yet. The Vikings are 12-0 heading into Saturday's NYSPHS AA Class D Championship game.

Senior running back Jim Carlson and the rest of the backfield have gained nearly 3,000 yards on the ground this season.

Carlson said his 1,630 yards and 24 touchdowns are a collective result of the stout play of his line.

"It all starts in the trenches," he said.

And while the big guys up front agree, they have little else to say about why their group is so effective. It's just that natural, even with seven or eight defenders stacked in the box nearly every play.

Moving past the first tier of bodies and into the linebackers and secondary, it's typically up to Carlson to finish the play after a good boost from the offensive line — and there's a method to his madness.

"The first time, I like to give (defenders) a shot so they're a little hesitant the second time," he said. "Then I like to just put the moves on them. But I don't shy away from contact."

Despite the fact that all of Carlson's success on the ground feeds into his personal statistics, he makes sure to show appreciation for the guys who helped him get where he is.

"When Jim got offensive MVP last game, he thanked all of us and said he couldn't have done it without us," senior guard Ben Tromblee said.

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