Time stood still for the Burros when quarterback Austin Griffin stayed on the ground after taking a hit on a Friday the 13th game against Apple Valley. When he was ruled out for the game, the Burros’ offense had to adjust.
No one has had to adjust more on the fly than the Burros’ front five: tackles Brock Mather and Wyatt Soto, guards Dylan Goeppinger and Tyler Gaska, and center Nick Farris. As the Burros adopted the run game, which they still use even after Griffin’s return, the offensive line has developed a sense of urgency.
“You really can’t screw up,” Farris said. “You just have to play perfect offense.”
That enough provides motivation each Friday night, when the Burros square up against larger linemen. Burroughs has developed a reputation for having a small line, but it makes up for it through speed and tenacity.
It wasn’t difficult for the line to adjust to the run game. Farris likened it to simply pulling out a tool from the toolbox.
“(In) our whole IWV offense, we pounded the ball,” Farris said. “We just had to bring it back out and pound the guys and do what we needed to do, because we were down a man. We put it on Oak Hills and every team since then. Our run game has really stepped it up.”
For Farris specifically, he shoulders a responsibility to protect Griffin. “He’s been my quarterback for 10, 11 years now. I know I can’t get him hurt, so I think in my mind that I have to do everything to get that guy blocked so I can protect my quarterback.”
Griffin certainly appreciates his line. He credits it for his offensive production, especially his eight rushing touchdowns this year, tied for the most on the team with Antonio Ramirez.
“I have a lot of faith in them,” Griffin said. “Those guys are the hardest working guys on the team. They don’t get very much credit. I just love them and appreciate all they do for me.”
That chemistry has been vital during games, as Griffin and Farris run the offense like a business: Griffin handles the backs and receivers, and Farris focuses on the line.
“It turned into a routine,” Farris said. “He came in, gave that call, I gave their call. I was ready, Grif looked at me, I looked at him. Ready? Break. And I snapped and ran into their lineman. We did our thing.”
How about in noisy environments, such as Friday’s CIF-SS Division 9 championship game?
“I was thinking about doing a line huddle real fast before,” Farris said. “If not, I’ll just scream it. They (the Falcons) don’t know our play calls. Everyone’s going to have to be louder.”