College Football

Physical play of offensive line paves way for C-SC's ground game

Culver-Stockotn College senior right tackle Alex Gonzalez sets a block as Wildcats quarterback Korbin Marcum, left, looks to throw during Saturday's game against Evangel at Ellison Poulton Stadium in Canton, Mo. | Photo courtesy C-SC Athletics
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 20, 2020 12:01 am Updated: Sep. 20, 2020 12:16 am

CANTON, Mo. -- Culver-Stockton College offensive line coach Sean Chase never stopped preaching two things he expected from the Wildcats in Saturday's season opener against Evangel.

Physicality and communication.

The line delivered on both.

The Wildcats rushed for 241 yards, averaging 5.9 yards per carry, while keeping quarterback Korbin Marcum clean as he wasn't sacked and hurried only once while throwing four touchdown passes in the 34-17 victory in the season opener at Ellison Poulton Stadium.

"When you look at the film, from a physicality aspect, you're going to see a lot of bodies on the ground all game long," senior right tackle Alex Gonzalez said. "As far as communication, you're going to see pre-snap us seeing the defense and talking to each other. The result of that is next to no pressures and no sacks all game long."

And room to run wild.

Jordan Grant ran for 6 or more yards on each of his first four carries, including a 28-yard burst that kickstarted a seven-play, 77-yard scoring drive in the first quarter. The senior finished with 142 yards on 19 carries for the first 100-yard rushing effort of his career.

"It tells you how good the five men up front are," Grant said. "That tells you everything."

It tells you the running lanes they created were wide.

"Probably even bigger," Grant said. "Huge."

Grant made the right reads off those blocks, too. So did Nathan Barnes, who had 80 yards on 15 carries, as the two senior backs have learned how to work in sync with the line.

"It's getting the ball, getting your eyes to the right spot, getting on the hip of the guard or the tackle and getting upfield," C-SC coach Tom Sallay said. "You don't always have to do something special to win a game. You have to do things you're supposed to do. In the end, that works.

"It's not the guys who made the best plays but the guys who made the most plays they're supposed to make that win the game. We stressed that a lot and our guys lived up to those expectations."

It's easy to do when you control the line of scrimmage.

"Those big five guys are amazing," Grant said. "They've been working their butts off since day one. Boy, they are great."