Trojans' offensive line reshaped, not rebuilt

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As recently as last summer, Center Grove’s offensive line was a point of concern for coach Eric Moore.

Four seniors from the 2011 semistate qualifier had departed. The lone returnee was junior center Alex Woods.

Who would be breaking the huddle and lining up with Woods was anybody’s guess, although Moore had ideas.

Therein lies the beauty of building a program some 100 varsity members strong on an annual basis. Athletes — aka choices — abound.

“We just needed help. Mitch McKee had been hurt since his sophomore year, and Samm Hayes had played and then hurt his shoulder,” said Moore, whose sixth-ranked team plays host to Columbus North tonight in a Class 5A sectional final. “What we had to do was take Nathan Krohne and Logan Battle, who were defensive players, and move them to offense.”

The final product turned out something special: the 6-foot-4, 275-pound Hayes at left tackle, Battle (6-2, 200), a junior, at left guard; Woods (6-3, 240) snapping the football; and seniors Krohne (6-3, 230) and McKee (6-3, 250) manning the right side. Another junior, 6-1, 260-pound Jacob Vance, has seen time at left guard.

Moore and his assistant coaches can study film and pinpoint whatever inadequacies there are. Player A is doing this well but needs to do this better. The same goes for players B, C, D and E.

At the same time it’s hard to stare cross-eyed at the results, a 10-1 record led by a wing-T offense averaging 40.7 points and 325 yards rushing per outing.

“I knew that if we worked hard in the offseason we could be as good as last year’s line, if not better. It wasn’t my choice to come over to offense, but it’s worked out well,” Krohne said. “We have so many good running backs that we know if we make the blocks we’ll for sure score touchdowns.”

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