BROOKFIELD - Offensive linemen in the NFL can expect an expensive gift or perhaps a fine dining experience from their quarterback after a job well done.
The most that the offensive linemen for the 12-0 Brookfield Warriors can expect from quarterback Jeremy Quinlan and running back Ryan Mosora are their game stickers the morning after a game. The stickers are rewards for outstanding performances, and Mosora and Quinlan have decided to give their share to the guys that do the grunt and grind work.
It might not seem like much, but on a team as close as the Warriors it's enough. As the saying goes, it's the thought that counts.
Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple
Brookfield running back Joe Clark (1) gets blocks from teammates Gary Hiner (75) and David Jamieson (50) during a game earlier this season. The offensive line has gave way to a powerful Brookfield offensive attack this season.
That's the life of an offensive lineman. Hard work; not much publicity; plenty of personal satisfaction.
"That (recognition) doesn't matter to us," linebacker/guard Tyler Miller said. "We're all one team. Ryan and Jeremy don't care. They don't care about publicity. We play as a team. That's it."
The offensive line has paved the way for some outstanding performances by Mosora and Quinlan. Mosora has rushed for 2,039 yards and scored 29 touchdowns. Quinlan has 1,180 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns.
It's a labor of love for the linemen.
"We open up the holes for them," guard/defensive tackle David Jamieson said. "We like opening up holes for them. We go up there every play with the same mentality to blow them off the ball."
Mosora has been able to post big numbers despite knowing that opposing defenses are geared to stop him.
That's where the line has come into play with its quickness and strength.
"The kid (Mosora) is an athlete," Jamieson said. "It's something special to block for both of them. It's always been special for all five of us up front. We make sure we get our assignments right and make sure our offense is clicking.
"We stay on our blocks until we hear that last whistle. Then we get back to the huddle and do the next thing over and over again until the end of the game when all of those zeroes are on the board and Brookfield wins."
The challenge Friday night in the Division IV, Region 13 final is the defending Division IV state champion Creston Norwayne Bobcats. The Bobcats are known for their scoring (53 points a game), but their defense has also played well, allowing an average of 8.3 points a game.
It will be a battle of quickness on both sides of the ball.
"We come off the ball fast and hard, and that's what we've got to do for our quarterback and running back," Miller said. "With the kind of offense we run, it works out for both of us."
When the Warriors don't have possession, Jamieson and Miller will assume their defensive positions. The play of Brookfield's defense often gets lost in the huge pile of stats accumulated by Quinlan and Mosora.
The defenders are confident they will be able to keep the Bobcats' explosive offense in check.
"They have a running attack, and our defense against the run has been the best around here," linebacker Derek Sulick said. "We haven't let any good rushing team rush against us."
From coach Randy Clark to each player on the roster, there's no doubt that the Warriors are operating on the premise of getting revenge for a 42-7 loss to Norwayne in a first-round tournament game last season.
"We were hoping that we were going to face them," Sulick said. "We want revenge."
Clark made sure the players didn't forget the loss to Norwayne by placing a sign in the locker room during offseason workouts that had the score on it.
"This whole team has been waiting on Norwayne since last year," Miller said. "The whole summer working out. We've been waiting for this moment for a year and it's finally come. We didn't think it would come. This is it. It's our time."