At first glance the Gloucester football team’s offensive line could easily be mistaken for a group of tight ends, and maybe even a group of running backs.
The offensive front five certainly does not resemble the prototypical offensive line. With the exception of center Connor Adkins, the muscle of the group at 6’1” 240, the guards and tackles are undersized for their positions. Tackles Filippo Zappa and Jason Lattof are listed at 5’11” 190 pounds and 5’10” 150 pounds respectively. Guards Jack Goss and Austin Titus are listed at 5’10” 200 pounds and 5’11” 170 pounds respectively.
The Fishermen offensive line may not look the part, but it can certainly play the part, and play it well.
Week in and week out Gloucester’s offensive line is giving up size to the opponents defensive line, and week in and week out the size deficit hasn’t stopped it from opening holes for the Fishermen running backs.
Through four games Gloucester has put up 933 yards on the ground, averaging 233 yards per game. The line has also helped Gloucester running back Zach Smith lead the Northeastern Conference with 497 yards rushing.
Gloucester’s running backs dominate most of the headlines, but that doesn’t bother the linemen at all. In fact that’s exactly the way they want it.
“We know the running backs get most of the glory and get their names in the paper more often,” said Titus, the lone senior and returning starter on the line, the other four linemen are juniors. “But they give us credit, they know we are doing a lot of work to open holes for them and that’s what counts. We appreciate what they do and they appreciate what we do.”
So why can the Gloucester offensive line push around players who are in some cases 100 pounds heavier? The answer is simple.
“It comes down to footwork and technique,” Titus said. “It doesn’t matter how big the guy you’re blocking is, if you get low and get into his hips you can move anybody. Our coaches preach that speed is power, as long as you have the right form you can move anyone.”