PLEASANT VIEW — Weber High’s offensive line speaks in code.
It’s not abnormal for an offensive line to speak in some sort of code at the line of scrimmage so as not to clue the defense in on the offense’s plans.
But in this code, even the Warriors’ head coach can’t tell what the linemen are saying.
“I just call the protection and it gets done, whatever they feel like they’ve got to do ... they’re basically talking a foreign language out there,” Jayson Anderson said.
The story goes that halfway through the 2018 football season, then-Weber High center Tyler Long presented an idea to the rest of the Warriors’ offensive line.
The idea was to abbreviate the line’s pass protection calls before the snap, when linemen adjust the protection schemes to cover their bases based on who they think the defense is sending on a blitz.
The idea stuck. What made it really stick, though, was when Warriors’ quarterback Kohl Hogan picked up on the lingo and started using it himself earlier this year.
“It builds bonds, you know? Because we’re the weird guys, we always do the weirdest things and no one gets it, but we’re the closest group because of that,” senior Trevor Lewis said. “Linemen are goofy, ask any quarterback that.”
All of the linemen were flattered.
“When he checks to something he uses our abbreviations, which is kind of makes me feel good because they actually pay attention to us. It’s kind of nice,” senior Jackson McAuley said.
The O-line may be Weber’s strongest position group this year. It’s not because they have a particular penchant for run blocking or pass blocking, but they say it’s because of how close-knit they are.
For pure entertainment, McAuley says they’ll go up to a wide receiver and tell them what route combos they’re running — Weber’s codenames for drag, hitch, post, etc. — even though the O-line is not versed at all in which codes translate to which exact routes.
Weber has a new offensive line coach this year in Dave Hogan. But most of the starters on the offensive line are returners so there wasn’t much adjustment to new concepts or anything like that. The new starters got plenty of playing time last year, too.
“We already know the plays really well, we’ve ran them, we’ve made mistakes with those plays and we know how to fix them,” McAuley said. “We’re one year stronger, one year bigger, one year smarter, with the new coach, yeah it’s a little bit different, but we just play the game the same way we did last year and we go kick butt like we did last year.”
What has also helped, Anderson says, is there have been players who have surprised the coaching staff. He pointed specifically at the tallest player in one of the huddles at practice on Wednesday.
That’s Matt Elmer, No. 77. Anderson says he and coaches thought Elmer might be a backup lineman this year. But Elmer’s the starting left tackle, tasked with protecting quarterback Kohl Hogan’s blind side whenever he doesn’t take off and run.
The line has some lofty expectations in light of its experience.
“I think we’re going to be the dudes to lead this team this year ... we’ve had so much time to build on our O-line since almost all of us are returning starters from last year, we’ve had so much time to figure out our plays, figure out how everything works and just get it going,” senior Gabe Aurich said.
Aurich cites the group’s performance in the summer, and so far this season, as the reason why he think the O-line will be the group for the Warriors the rest of the way.
The line has paved the way and created big holes for Weber’s new running backs to gallop into.
The Warriors had 188 rushing yards (6.1 yards per carry) and two score against Bountiful, 230 yards on 28 carries with three scores against Clearfield and a monstrous 359 yards on 50 carries with three touchdowns in a loss to Syracuse.
Even then, Anderson says there’s room for improvement.
WEEK 6 SCHEDULE
GAME OF THE WEEK:
Farmington at Woods Cross
There’s a big showdown in south Davis County on Friday when Farmington (4-1, 1-0 Region 5) visits Woods Cross (5-0, 1-0).
The winner likely goes into the driver’s seat for the Region 5 title and, since FHS and WX came in at Nos. 3-4 in the first UHSAA football RPI rankings this week, there may be postseason impacts at play.
There are obvious strengths to each team on offense: they both average north of 32 points per game on offense, Farmington averages 387.8 offensive yards per game and WX averages 377.8 per game.
Defensively, both teams have made life miserable for opponents. FHS allows 4.5 yards per play and has 11 turnovers and 20 sacks to its credit. WX gives up 5.1 yards per play and has 14 turnovers and 12 sacks to its name.
WX is a little more pass-heavy offensively so, if the aerial attack gets shut down, the Wildcats will have to see how good their run game really is.
FREMONT AT SYRACUSE
Syracuse (4-1, 3-0 Region 1) quarterback Bridger Hamblin has thrown 11 touchdown passes and rushed for 11 scores, which not many other quarterbacks, if any, in the state can match. He’s been responsible for 22 of the team’s 24 touchdowns.
The key for Fremont (2-3, 2-1 Region 1) is to stop Hamblin, which only Farmington has been able to do. The Silverwolves may have the defensive personnel equipped for stopping a dual-threat QB. Middle linebacker Justin Sagapolu ranks fifth in the state in total tackles with 55 to go with 7.5 tackles-for-loss.
DAVIS AT ROY (KMYU)
Who breaks first: Davis’ (3-2, 3-0 Region 1) defense or Roy’s offense?
The Darts give up 93.4 yards per game on the ground, 3.2 yards per carry and have forced opposing quarterbacks into a 54.9 passer rating (64 for 135, 830 yards, five touchdowns, eight interceptions).
But they haven’t seen an offense like Roy’s yet. The Royals (3-2, 2-1) average 5.5 yards per carry, 195 rushing yards per game, have four players with 200-plus rushing yards and quarterback Jaxson Dart has eight touchdowns against three interceptions and a 64% completion rate.
LAYTON AT WEBER
Weber (3-2, 2-1 Region 1) is on its first winning streak against Layton (1-4, 0-3) since five straight triumphs from 1995-99. The Lancers have lost four games in a row this year after their dramatic season-opening win. They will be eager to crash Weber’s Homecoming this Friday.
BONNEVILLE AT BOUNTIFUL
Bonneville hasn’t defeated Bountiful in the regular season since 1978. This is a story of two teams trending in completely opposite directions: the Lakers (3-2, 1-0 Region 5) have won three straight games while the Braves (1-4, 0-1) have lost four in a row.
MOUNTAIN VIEW AT BEN LOMOND
The last time these two teams met was 1982, a 6-0 win for the Scots. Things have drastically changed since then. Ben Lomond (0-5, 0-2 Region 10) is going through a brutal first season under new head coach Lyndon Johnson while the Bruins (5-0, 2-0) are in the midst of their best start since 1999.
BOX ELDER AT VIEWMONT
Both teams enter this game searching for improvement on offense. After scoring 105 points the first three games, Box Elder (2-3, 0-1 Region 5) has only managed 17 the past two weeks. Viewmont’s (1-4, 0-1) offense ranks last in the region in total yards.
OGDEN AT TOOELE
Ogden (1-4, 0-2 Region 10) running back Chase Butler is picking up where he left off last year. The senior has 433 rushing yards with six touchdowns to go with 237 receiving yards and two scores through five games.
SUMMIT ACADEMY AT MORGAN
This is the teams’ first-ever meeting. Morgan (4-0) head coach Kovi Christiansen goes for his 100th win, according to prep football historian George Felt. Also according to Felt, Morgan is second in the entire state in margin of victory (41.5 points per game), scoring offense (45.8) and scoring defense (4.3).
LOGAN AT BEAR RIVER
Bear River’s switch to from a slow, power offense to a fast, spread offense has indeed brought what coaches foretold in the summer: higher scoring on offense, but more points allowed on defense because the defense is on the field more. BR averages 23 points per game on offense, which would be its highest mark since 2014, but allows 28.4 points per game on defense, which would also be the highest since 2014.
LAYTON CHRISTIAN AT RICH
Layton Christian (1-3, 0-1 2A North) is only 3-10 all-time against Rich, but the Eagles have won the last two meetings.