Seminary is clicking on all cylinders and riding an eight-game winning streak into the second round of the Class 3A playoffs. Offensively, the Bulldogs have benefited greatly from a potent two running back system, but the improvement and play of the offensive line should not go unnoticed, according to coach Brian Rials.
“We moved some guys around [on the offensive line] early in the year, and we weren’t sure how some of it was going to work out,” Rials said. “But as the year has gone on, they just really bought into it and gelled as a group.”
Rials believes they found the right combination with Quincy Barnes (left tackle), Seth Gilmore (left guard), Christopher Guidry (center), Colby Coleman (right guard), Kyle Smith (right tackle) and Gaige Walters (tight end).
The unit paved the way for Seminary’s backs to rush for 391 yards and seven touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 53-27 win over Southeast Lauderdale last Friday in the first round of the playoffs. As a result, Seminary’s offensive line is our Week 12 Sports601 Covington County Co-Player of the Week.
“They take pride in being called the ‘fat boys’,” Rials said of his offensive line. “This is what we do here at Seminary. We run the football, and we count on those guys to open up holes. We know we got some pretty good backs, but they get better behind those guys every week.”
Added Christopher Guidry, “We don’t really get much of the credit and all that, but it starts with us. That’s really all we can do, give our effort and 100 percent every play and just go with it.”
As for that aforementioned improvement, Kyle Smith says the unit is miles ahead from where they were at the beginning of the season.
“At the beginning of the year, it was horrible,” Smith said. “We had bad [line] grades for the most part.”
Teammate Dalvon Martin’s car wreck and steady recovery played a big part in the turnaround, according to Smith. “After Dalvon’s wreck, we all as a team came together, but the line really came together having real good grades and making real good blocks.”
All told, it’s a senior-laden group with Seth Gilmore and Gaige Walters being the only underclassmen.
“We’re gonna have some rebuilding to do next year, but we’re gonna ride these as long as we can,” Rials said.
Looking for a ninth-straight win and a berth into the third round of the playoffs, Rials’ Bulldogs will continue postseason play Friday night at Raleigh.