Veteran Sagecock Offensive Line Stepping Up in ‘09

In the Sagehens’ final drive against Lewis and Clark, QB Jacob Caron PO ’11 had enough time to calculate the cut of the grass before he decided to scramble, scramble some more, and then chuck a running left-handed bomb down the field.When I asked right guard and team captain Augie Lagemann PO ’10 if he ever got tired of keeping an open pocket for Caron on the final drive, he replied: “Are you kidding? That’s the fun part! My adrenaline was pumping so much that I didn’t even notice myself getting tired. It’s a great feeling to watch film of the game and see a perfect, unthreatened pocket form around the Jake.”The P-P offensive line, consisting of Laugemann, left guard Everett Merrill PO ’12, left tackle Levi Moore PO ’11, center James Lambert PO ’12, and right tackle Tyler Peterson PO ’11, has produced a sea of blue and orange around Caron this season, giving the talented quarterback plenty of time to find his receiving core.The Sagehens return their entire starting offensive line a year after allowing the second fewest sacks in the SCIAC.The O-line points to physical improvement and increased experience as the causes for an even stronger start this season.“We did all get a lot stronger than last season, and I think we’re in better shape,” Peterson said. “But the main thing is that we’re all returning. Knowing how the guy next to you plays is really important. When I slide out to block, I know where Auggie is and usually where he’ll be, which is important when picking up blitzes and line switches.” The O-line trained together over the offseason, helping the players jump right into practice this year without missing a beat.While the offense has already established itself as a strong passing team, the Sagehens have improved their running game due in large part to a new emphasis on run blocking. The Sagehens are averaging 166.3 rushing yards per game so far this season, compared to just 113 last year.Lagemann said that not only is this year’s offensive line the best he has been a part of since his freshman year, but as a whole, this is the most consistent and tight-knit team he has ever been on.“We know each other much better than we did during my freshman year and work together more effectively and make fewer mistakes,” Lagemann said. “This year’s line is definitely a great line to be a part of. We are all good friends on and off the field, and we have our own brand of humor that most of the non-linemen don’t get and probably think is just plain weird.” Weird or not, the offensive line is giving Caron plenty of time in the pocket to find WR RJ Maki PO ’11 and company, something that the rest of the team can certainly support.

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