Tascosa’s O-line paves the way for punishing ground game
Tascosa center Brandon Gonzalez, right, gets set to snap the ball to quarterback Joseph Plunk during a game earlier this season. [John Moore/ Press Pass Sports]
An offensive line is the root of a foundation for any football team.
Most units don’t get the publicity or the appreciation for the physical pounding they take for four quarters, but that’s far from the case for coach Ken Plunk and the Tascosa Rebels.
“A lot of people say that our offensive line is unsung,” Plunk said. “But I don’t think they are. I brag on them everyday and I think they get plenty of recognition from our fans, coaches and our team.”
The veteran group of — left tackle Sobhan Soleymani, left guard Jacob Beaty, center Brandon Gonzalez, right guard Logan Fulton and right guard Kelton Cosselmon — are big reason Tascosa (10-3 overall) is back in a Class 6A state quarterfinals for a second year in a row when they play Denton Guyer at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco.
“We all get a long really well,” Fulton said. “We’ve played a lot of games together, and we have a feel for what the other is going to do.”
The five starters are all seniors. Gonzalez, Soleymani and Fulton are the anchors up front. Gonzalez and Soleymani will be making their 29th consecutive start, while Fulton has started 28 of the last 29.
“I have to give credit to our coaches,” Gonzalez said. “They push us everyday to be better. We just go out and work to the fullest and do our best.”
Quarterback Joseph Plunk knows he’s benefitted behind this special group. Joseph is a rare talent. He’s a master of his father’s Flexbone, and flat out fast. However, as unbelievable as he‘s been, Joseph knows its those lineman that give him his opportunities.
Plunk looks for yards during a game earlier this season. [John Moore/ Press Pass Sports]
“No way we’re here without them,” said Joseph, who has rushed for an astonishing 2,503 yards this year with 38, touchdowns this season. “They lead the way for myself and the running backs. Their experience helps the most. We all have a great bond, and I love those guys.”
The 6-foot-1, 295 pound Gonzalez, who has snapped it to plunk for 28 straight games, agreed with his quarterbacks comments.
“It’s been a great opportunity to play with Joseph,” Gonzalez said. “He’s a great quarterback that commands a huddle, and makes our group better. We love blocking for him.”
Behind the punishing line, Tascosa has won its last four games without competing a pass. The last pass Joseph completed was in a 31-15 victory at Odessa High back in week 10. Thanks to the O-line, there hasn’t been an issue. The Rebels average a staggering 414 yards rushing a game on the season, and have been a nightmare in the postseason against the Metroplex, an area that doesn’t show the Texas Panhandle much respect.
During a 45-37 win against Arlington Bowie in the area round, Tascosa pushed the Volunteers around, chewing up 363 rushing yards. In last week’s regional semifinal win against a talented Flower Mound Marcus, the physical prowess of Tascosa did one more time by blowing the Marauders off the ball for 473 yards on the ground.
“I think what stands out the most is the physicality,” Plunk said. “They have to be precise, but they being phyiscal is most important. There is a lot that goes into their job but they have to get off the ball and blow someone back. They’ve done that so far, and they do it the right way. They are great young men.”
About Denton Guyer
The Wildcats (12-1 overall) are an offensive juggernaut, scoring over 40 points in all but one game this season, and averaging 523 yards a contest. Dual-threat quarterback Eli Stowers, a four-star, committed to Texas A&M, has thrown for 2,634 yards, rushed for 1,085 yards with a combined 42 touchdowns.
Running back Kaedric Cobbs, a three-star running back, and academic scholar, is explosive, rushing for 2.149 yards with 36 TDs.
The Tascosa-Guyer winner faces the Westfield-Jesuit Prep winner in a state semifinal.