Offensive line paves way for Maize matchup against Derby
Four Maize skill players — quarterback Connor Lungwitz, running back Chase White and wide receivers Kendall Stewart and Kavan Jobe — have been known commodities. How much the Eagles could do offensively, though, rested heavily on the shoulders of an inexperienced offensive line.
After a win over top-ranked Salina South last Friday to improve to 2-0, consider the offensive line a success.
“They’re the difference,” Maize coach Gary Guzman said of Gage Morgan, Tyler Marrero, Blair Summers, Jared Luebbe and Konner Swenson. “They’re the reason for our success. Without those guys up front, then Connor’s going to have a long evening, and so is our tailback. Those guys are successful because of those guys up front.”
Maize (2-0), which is ranked fourth in Class 6A, plays at No. 3 Derby (1-1) on Friday night.
The Eagles’ lone experienced lineman is Morgan, who is 5-foot-9, 205 pounds.
“He has a lot of pressure being the only returner,” Guzman said. “He’s a good leader for us. He’s definitely done a good job of keeping everybody’s confidence up and trying to be the one directing traffic down there.”
Not only is Maize’s line inexperienced, but Swenson is a freshman.
“To start as a freshman and against the competition we play against, it’s tough,” Guzman said. “He’s done a good job for us. He really has stepped up. He’s still learning, he’s still making mistakes, but he’s one of those kids who will continue to get better and better.”
Morgan pointed to improved communication over the season’s first two weeks, but he said it’s their attitude that has been critical in their strong play.
“We’re not afraid,” he said. “We’re a smaller O-line, but we’re not afraid of anybody and we have speed. Our speed helps me get out to linebackers quicker, and it helps in getting off the ball. That’s a big deal.”