Defense in the modern game of football is often overlooked with offensive performances.
Fans love to see flashy plays with lots of points that typically outshine any type of hard-nosed defensive effort.
Even moreso, defensive players are hard to come by–let alone two playmaking linebackers.
That’s exactly the recipe of success for a 3-0 Dumas Demon team.
Linebacker duo Cade Cox and Dallan Dill have been nothing but superb this year, with their most recent showing leading to a 7-0 shutout over a staunch Wichita Falls High.
Dumas linebackers Cade Cox (7) and Dallan Dill (42) have become the heart and soul of the Demons defense. [Provided photo]
“The linebacker role is the quarterback of our defense,” Dumas head coach Aaron Dunnam said. “It’s not always called from our sideline so those guys have to be able to get us lined up by checking it from the line. [Cade and Dallan] are extremely important in the success of our football team.”
Dunnam had nothing but great things to say about the Cox, Dill duo, but their game speaks for itself.
Between the two hard-hitting linebackers, they’ve acquired 16 solo tackles, 26 assisted tackles, four tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, two sacks, three quarterback hurries, and one safety.
Dallan Dill (42) initiated a Dumas gang tackle against Caprock. [Ben Jenkins/Press Pass Sports]
The two defenders have been remarkable this season, however, their outlook on their individual game is eye-opening.
“I’ve played football since the second grade and I think I’ve learned a real nose for the football throughout the years,” Cox said. “It’s always been hard work that’s got me where I am, whether it’s in the classroom, practice, the weight room, just hard work. I’ll always try to be the best I can be at my job.”
Dill echoed his teammates comment.
“I credit practice [to his on-field performance],” Dill said. “We’re conditioned really well, we go over everything, so we will always be able to outwill the other team. I think if you’ve had a bad play, you’ve got to flush it and move on to the next one. To play the linebacker spot means you have to be mean,”
The linebackers aren’t only leaders of the defense–they were both elected captains by their teammates.
A rare honor for players that are only juniors.
“I like to put people above me,” Cox said. “I want to be the best leader I can be so when I do my job, most people will follow, but I always make sure everyone’s doing good and that I’m being encouraging,”
“It means alot to me that they see the work I put in,” Dill said. “I’m just trying to be a leader and set an example,”
Aside from their love of football Dill and Cox say nothing can exceed what their coach has meant to them.
“[Coach Dunnam] is such a good role-model for this team,” Cox said. “He’s changed the community and everyone has a new attitude. If I was playing inside linebacker to anyone other than Dallan, I don’t think I’d be as good as I am. He pushes me to make myself better and he does the same. We just feed off each other.”
Dumas host’s Plainview at 7 p.m. Friday night at Demons Stadium.