The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Sports

October 15, 2013

Paving the way

(Continued)

The linemen aren't likely to be aware of the moment former Cathedral star Otis Shannon's record falls, but they're looking forward to it just the same.

"We'll probably all run out and hug him or something," Morris said.

Much like the 5-foot-9, 170-pound back they block for, the Elwood linemen don't fit the hulking persona many might expect from a record-setting unit. These aren't bulldozers leveling the playing field before them.

How does an undersized group clear blocking lanes when every player on the field — and every fan in the stands — is well aware No. 24 is about to get the football?

"Will," Morris said.

"Heart," Duncan added.

"Family," Jackson replied.

Unity is the key to Elwood's success.

Every piece of the puzzle must work in tandem to form a clear overall picture. Mireles' elusiveness and creativity can erase some mistakes, but football is the ultimate team game and no one player can succeed on his own.

The fact the star has such an engaging personality only aids the cause.

"He's so level-headed," said Nutt, the starting center. "He's not cocky or arrogant or anything like that."

When a linemen makes a mistake, Mireles isn't likely to scream. He'll walk over and tap the player on the butt and encourage him for the next play.

"You can talk to him," said Jackson, who works inside at guard along with Morris.

The tackles — Ferguson and Duncan — have to be aware of the almost constant cutbacks Mireles is making behind them. And everyone on the line is challenged to keep up with Mireles' speed.

But when things go right, even the players on the field sometimes get caught up in the view.

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