LAWRENCE — It was only Week 1, but after leading the Lawrence football team to an emphatic victory over Mt. Blue, quarterback Andrew Trombley felt some praise was in order.

“My offensive line is the best offensive line I’ve played behind in my entire career so far,” said Trombley, who ran three times that game for 82 yards and a touchdown. “We all have this bond, we know that we need to protect each other, and they protected me very well today. They protected all of our backs.”

There’s nothing easy about matching up with the Bulldogs, and dealing with that offensive line might be the toughest task of them all. Coach John Hersom’s team loves to run, and loves to run behind that front, a deep group that’s big in size, big in talent and big in pride.

Last week, the Bulldogs ran 27 times for 390 yards, many of them coming thanks to holes opened up by the road graders up front, a group made up of Cameron Littlefield at center, Storer Boyden and Josh Hutchins at guard and Hunter Garand and Joey Page at tackle, with tackles Tobey Sullivan and Jake Hutchins and tight ends Lucas Campbell and Hunter Lee added to the mix as well.

“We kind of hang our hat on the success of that group,” Hersom said. “It’s nice to have a lineman group that’s very passionate and (has) a lot of pride in what they do, because it’s not an easy job, and they don’t get a lot of recognition.”

Perhaps not, but when Andrew Trombley and twin brother Matthew or Parker Higgins run for a long score, the Lawrence linemen know it was their work that, quite literally, paved the way.

“We all feel like we’re the start of every play,” Littlefield said, “and if we don’t put in our work and we don’t do our job, it won’t succeed. If we fail to do our job, the rest of the guys can’t do their job.”

“If our blocks aren’t there, they’re not going to go anywhere. You can have a good running back, but what’s he going to do without the line?” Boyden said. “You have to take pride in what you’re doing. If not, what are you doing it for? You’re not just going to let the guy out back, your brother, get left out to dry when you have a backer blitzing and coming up to get him.”

A Lawrence High School football lineman works through drill during practice Wednesday in Fairfield. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

The Lawrence linemen are good. And they’re enthusiastic about their work.

“We’re all pretty fired up about what we’re doing,” Page said. “We’re working together really well, and we help each other out when we’re not doing so well.”

“We like to just smash them right in the mouth, go right at them,” Boyden said. “We have this thing called pancake blocks. We go in the film after and we take out little sections of each play, put a highlight tape together and look at all of our pancakes. Our coaches tell us every week that they’re going to take us out for pancakes one of these times.”

Bowling defenders over isn’t the only thing the Lawrence linemen have in common.

“We like to eat, that’s what we talk about,” Boyden said. “We talk about food every practice, about where we’re going to go for dinner.”

They have playing experience in common as well. None of Lawrence’s linemen started in 2019, but they’ve been playing together since middle school, when they started playing Fairfield PAL, the area’s youth football program.

Even as the players waited their turn, Hersom could see what was coming together.

“They have stuck together,” he said. “There are no newcomers to the group. They’ve been linemen since they started their careers in high school, so I think that chemistry has really developed over the course of the previous three years. Even last year when we were not playing, we kept that group together.

“Now, it’s kind of like a highlight for them. They’re doing it together and they’re getting the playing time they deserve.”

Because of that experience playing together, Lawrence’s linemen had a feeling they were in for success this season. But they didn’t know for sure.

The Lawrence football team boasts one of the top group of linemen in Pine Tree Conference Class B. From left, Joe Page, Hunter Garand and Tobey Sullivan pose during practice Wednesday in Fairfield. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

“I know a lot of us were not worried about it, but wondering how it was going to go, first time back in over a year,” Page said. “I think what happened just showed us how well we can work as a team. … We’re liking what we’re seeing so far.”

Littlefield said the group enjoys putting in the hours to make sure Week 1 is just the beginning.

“We all work as hard as we can, every play, all practice, every game. We just try to put in as much work as we can,” he said. “It was so good to see our work pay off.”

Hersom said he’s happy they’ve gotten their moment.

“They’ve been patient, they’ve really paid their dues. It’s kind of a throwback to the earlier days where kids waited their turn, worked hard, and it’s nice to see,” he said. “This is the team. It’s not one individual, or guys that get to score the touchdowns. It’s really coming together pretty well for us.”

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.