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When a quarterback attempts 33 passes and suffers zero sacks, it’s often due to the work of the five guys in front of him.
During Friday’s 42-24 victory over host Warren, Libertyville quarterback Jack Deichl enjoyed strong protection from the line of Brandon Stanfel, Shawn McCracken, Nick Carlino, Bryan Martin and Matsen Dziedzic. Martin is a junior and the other four are seniors.
“We always strive for no sacks,” said Stanfel, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound right tackle. “And we always want to give Jack time.”
“They (the linemen) move very well,” said Wildcats coach Mike Jones, whose club improved to 3-1. “To be good in pass protection, you have to be able to move your feet.”
Based on Friday’s contest, Libertyville’s line is moving in the right direction.
“We’ve been working hard in practice and focusing on our assignments,” Stanfel said. “In the first couple of games, we were not thinking, to be honest with you. We had a lot of mental errors.”
Stanfel has been a varsity starter for three seasons.
“Brandon has a good attitude and good football sense,” Jones said. “He’s always hustling, which is a big thing. He’s more than willing to run downfield and get the next block.”
The Wildcats, who play host to Mundelein at 7:30 p.m. Friday for homecoming, are not afraid to run behind the blocking of Stanfel and McCracken (a 5-11, 205-pound right guard).
“Shawn is one of the smartest guys on the line,” Jones said. “He knows our schemes inside and out. He’s a great leader who knows what every player is supposed to do.”
Anchoring this group in the middle is Carlino, a 6-2, 250-pound center.
“Nick has a lot of responsibility,” said Jones, adding that Carlino is a three-year starter. “We were in the shotgun most of the night (versus Warren), and all of his snaps were really good.”
On the left side, the Wildcats have Martin (a 6-0, 220-pound guard) and Dziedzic (a 6-5, 260-pound tackle).
“Bryan is the toughest guy on the line,” Jones said. “Matsen has made the biggest jump from last year to this year. He gets better every week.”
Experience is a factor, as the Wildcats’ line has been intact for the last 14 games.
“We really trust each other,” Stanfel said.
Completing the picture is the steady play of Deichl, who completed 22 of 33 passes against Warren for 310 yards. He tossed four touchdown passes against two interceptions.
“Jack is a great quarterback to block for,” Stanfel said. “He stays in the pocket, and he’ll take a hit if he has to.” ~.