After UMHB’s dominating 35-7 playoff win over Redlands on Saturday, Crusaders second-year offensive coordinator Jeff Shinn talked with Herald sports editor Allan Mandell.
Coach, 6:35 left in the first quarter, scoreless game. You called 12 straight running plays. Your offensive linemen obliterated that Redlands defense and you took a 7-0 lead.
Well, we are a run-first football team. We want to run the football, establish our physicality. I didn’t realize I had called 12 running plays in a row but we have a saying around here: “We’ll keep going with whatever is working.” It’s awesome that we scored on that drive where we had 12 straight running plays.
I have a lot of confidence in our offensive linemen. Those linemen are the hardest working group that we’ve got. Sometimes we’ll just put our offense on their back, like on that drive, and say, “Let’s Go!”
What can you say about Montana Duncan and Josh Holt and the way those two played today?
They’re great to have. Very good players who also are very hard workers. They are real students of the game. They want to be perfect. If they do something wrong, they get mad and they immediately want to know how to fix it. They are the leaders of our offensive line, and our offensive line is doing a great job. That unit is really special.
And, Coach, how about the game of your center, Sterling Cantue (6-0, 250)? You ran the pistol on almost every snap so he has to make a perfect snap and then fight off some large lineman who is right on top of him. It really looked like Cantue played an exceptional game, too.
That is exactly right. Sterling has really improved as this season has gone on. He is in charge of all of our identifications for that offensive line so each of our guys know where we’re blocking. He is so smart. He gets all five linemen on the same page.
Redlands was a good opponent and gave us a test. We played some games earlier in this season where we didn’t see much fight from the other side. It was nice to see a battle in the trenches. We stuck with our run game and started accumulating yardage and the credit belongs to those guys on our line.
Carlos Cuellar (6-0, 270), your sophomore on the line, had himself a heck of a game, too. He didn’t look like a sophomore today. He played like a senior.
When Michael Mooneyham (5-11, 240) got hurt with an ankle injury, Carlos really pushed himself to step up and helped us. Carlos has struggled with some injuries, too. But he got the opportunity to play a lot today and took advantage of his opportunity.
And Jose Ostos (6-3, 260) looked good on that line as well.
Yes. This is his first year to start. He was a backup last year. He is really a talented individual. With Montana at one tackle and Jose on the other side at tackle, it allows us to do a lot of things with our zone read and our option game with our quarterback. If you don’t have those type of athletes blocking on the ends you can’t do the type of things we want to do.
Our offensive linemen, overall, truly understand what University of Mary Hardin football is all about.
I’m glad I called those 12 straight running plays because I know our linemen feed off of that. Our linemen were knocking them back.