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Raiders’ Success Begins Up Front

JEB Stuart hopeful hefty offensive line can clear path for backs.

JEB Stuart High (National District)

Coach: Roy Ferri (Ninth Year)

2011 Record: 6-4 (4-3 District)

Key Departures: Linemen, defensive backs

Returning Offensive Starters: 3

Returning Defensive Starters: 5

Key Games: Sept. 7 vs. Hayfield, Nov. 2 vs. Falls Church High

With size and numbers along the offensive line, it’s no wonder why plans to run the ball this season.

Head Coach Roy Ferri said he tried running between the tackles against James Madison High in a scrimmage Aug. 23 and ran the ball between the tackles pretty well. The Raiders lost most of last season’s crop of linemen but return senior tackle Hector Hernandez. Ferri said Hernandez, who is getting inquiries from colleges, is the only offensive lineman who plays both sides of the ball.

“Our offensive line is pretty good,” Ferri said.

Ferri said he thinks his team will do better than last season’s 6-4 campaign. With a stable of linemen that can clear paths on offense and clog up holes on defense, Ferri said his strength is up front.

“We have about nine to 10 linemen that can play both sides of the ball,” Ferri said. “We go with the New England Patriots theory to have players that can play multiple positions.”

Picking the personnel to run behind the massive line has been another job for Ferri through camp. Ferri said he has six tailbacks to choose from and will have his decisions on his backfield by next week. He whatever players don’t make the running back rotation will play at other positions.

Possibly in the defensive secondary where Ferri feels is his team’s weakest position.

“Our problem is we’re young in the secondary,” Ferri said. “Our guys made some mistakes in our scrimmage against Madison that young guys make, but we can fix some of the mistakes.”

Click here for the Raiders’ 2012 varsity football schedule.

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