Petaluma's guys in the trenches

Posted by Staff Writer Eric Branch:
Offensive linemen, like telephone operators, are typically a bit anonymous.
And Petaluma’s guys in the trenches are no different. The Trojans’ front five isn’t particularly big. Just two players are listed over 215 pounds. And they aren’t the most physically gifted line that coach Steve Ellison has had in 31 years at the school.
But here’s the deal: The 9-0 Trojans are averaging 337 yards rushing a game, have 42 rushing touchdowns and have scored at least 34 points in five straight games for the first time in over 25 years.
And Petaluma’s star-studded trio of quarterback Mike Russell, running back Sean Sullivan and fullback Ricky Sims – a group that has combined for 2,510 yards rushing and 37 touchdowns – isn’t doing it alone.
The holes in the triple-option offense are being opened by an all-senior line featuring center Reggie Baker, guards Jeremy Mahrt and Shawn Swanson and tackles Justin Wambold and Nick Ziegenhagen. Seniors Blake Olson and Aaron Randall and juniors Ezana Kemmer and Tama Emanuele have also seen significant action.
What the group lacks in brawn they have made up for with brains. Ellison says his linemen are adept at making adjustments and recognizing defenses.
“Our offensive line as a unit has been playing really well,” Ellison said. “They are no real stars, but they work very well together. They are very bright. They are probably one of the brightest groups I’ve ever dealt with.”