Week after week, coaches who face the Bellarmine Prep Lions in football, they all echo the same sentiment.
That offensive line is good.
It is driving the bus, too – all the way to the Tacoma Dome.
That unit’s coach is Paul Richardson, a former Bellarmine Prep lineman himself who went on to Minot (N.D.) University to play baseball before an injury derailed his career. He had been coaching football and baseball at Gonzaga Prep before returning to his alma mater.
The five guys up front:
* LT Matthew McDougal, 6-2, 290, Sr. – Three-year starter and a real “grinder,” said Lions’ coach Tom Larsen.
* LG Macartney McQuery, 6-3, 300, Sr. – Three-year starter. Strong as a house, mostly coming from his upper body. Lions’ go-to run play nearly always goes between McDougal and McQuery.
* C Kevin Kors, 5-11, 300, Sr. – Three-year starter. Has shuffled from center to guard. Great feet, and really relied on as pulling lineman on power-running plays. Lions love having him right in front of quarterback Sefo Liufau.
* RG Zach Ota, 5-9, 245, Jr. – Two-year starter who filled in for Kors at center. Coach dubs him the “mighty mite” because of his endless pursuit of the action.
* RT Matt Hallis, 5-11, 235, Jr. – More of the utility lineman who took over in the playoffs when Elijah Klein hurt his knee against Bothell. This has been his first year of consistent playing time, and is as well-prepared as any of the linemen.
The Lions did get a bit of good news – sort of. A chance exists that Klein – arguably the team’s best lineman (6-3, 280, Jr.) – could play Saturday. He is being fitted for a knee brace.
As far as Liufau, The News Tribune’s All-Area player of the year, and Colorado commit at quarterback, he said he is monitoring what is going on around the Buffaloes’ program after coach Jon Embree was ousted after two seasons. The Lions’ star added he has been contacted by other schools in the past 36 hours, but won’t return communication until after the state finals Saturday.