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CdM's line opens path

High School Football

Offensive line has paved way for Sea Kings to reach CIF Southern Section Southern Division title game.

December 07, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
(Kevin Chang / Daily…)

Before the Corona del Mar High football season, Coach Scott Meyer said the question mark on the team was the offensive line.

"We knew we had skill guys on offense," said Meyer, referring to the wide receivers, running back and quarterback.

Meyer's issue with his linemen was that they weren't much bigger than his skill players were.

Across the line, the average height was 6-foot-1 and weight was 221 pounds. With the kind of spread offense the Sea Kings planned to run, they didn't have a need for 300-pounders.

The question was how CdM's small line would do against a huge, physical defensive line. In the second game of the season, Meyer got his answer.

The Sea Kings faced Huntington Beach, a bigger team. The line handled the Oilers and CdM pulled off a 28-21 upset on the road.

Since then, Meyer's only question to his linemen is how many wings will satisfy them on a Tuesday night. A lot, because even though they aren't as massive as other lines in Orange County, left tackle Nick Storm, left guard Hunter Molnar, center Caden Stark, right guard Giovanni Gentosi and right tackle Liam Duddy have proven they can move defenses.

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Tight end Matt English blocks, too, when he's not catching passes.

Maybe you cannot say the line has paved the way for CdM to reach its first CIF Southern Section title game in 22 years, more like pulled the Sea Kings in that direction.

When Storm, Molnar, Stark, Gentosi, Duddy and English line up against top-seeded Beckman (11-2), their opponent in the Southern Division finale at Orange Coast College on Friday, they'll look small compared to the 270-pounders across from them.

The size differential doesn't faze second-seeded CdM (11-2).

"They're able to actually play more physical than their size actually will dictate," said Meyer, adding that the keys to the line's success are how well it moves and how smart it plays.

Meyer credits offensive line coaches Eric Salazar and Kyle Collins for developing the line in one year.

Meyer, in his first season at CdM, brought in Salazar from Mission Viejo High. Because of the line, Meyer said quarterback Brent Lawson has set single-season school records at CdM for passing yards (2,400) and passing touchdowns (25), and tailback Erik Fisher has rushed for 1,623 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Molnar calls Salazar a modern day Yoda.

"He's definitely helped me and I know the entire line became way better players than we ever would be," said Molnar, a 6-foot, 200-pounder.

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