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Yotes' offensive line pushes team up NAIA rankings

Yotes Coin Toss
Posted at 3:30 PM, Sep 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-20 17:30:55-04

CALDWELL, Idaho — In Monday's NAIA Football Poll, the College of Idaho Yotes jumped six spots to No. 11 in the country. This rise in rankings comes after a 42-24 victory on the road against Southern Oregon University.

The team is now 3-0 heading into it's rivalry game against Eastern Oregon.

Head Coach Mike Moroski on how his team handles the ranking:

Mike Moroski on National Ranking.mov

The Yotes are averaging 213 rushing yards per game, a stat that reflects how good their offensive linemen have played this season. A position group that often doesn't get much glory for the success they help create.

“We don’t really ever get recognition for what it is," said Greg Stewart, the offensive line coach. "Five-in, five-strong, all those good things, I mean we all got to work as a unit. And then you got to be bought into it, it’s not easy being a guy in the trenches. There’s a lot of bruises that happen where nobody knows about."

Football is a physical sport, but unlike most athletes in the sport, the players who play on the line are facing contact every play. The position is one that offensive lineman and team captain Camille Massaad said takes a unique individual.

“It takes a different person to play offensive line," Massaad said. "It takes someone who doesn’t need any recognition but is willing to do a lot of the blunt force, a lot of the blunt work. We have some really, really, really talented football players in our offensive line room.”

That statement rings true for Yotes head coach Mike Moroski. Moroski played quarterback in the NFL, so he knows how important lineman are to the success of a team.

“The O-Line is notoriously is quite a great, in the best sense, group of guys on the team," said Moroski. "They’re like a team within a team. And I think we’re as full, personality wise, as we’ve ever been. These guys are fantastic people, a lot of fun to be around.”

The offensive line will be called on once again on Saturday to take advantage of the Eastern Oregon defense, which has allowed 178 rushing yards per game this season.

This week's game is at Simplot Stadium at 2 p.m. in Caldwell.