Some say it’s a fraternity. Others call it a brotherhood.
Each and every one of West Hall’s offensive linemen say it’s an honor to be what coach Tony Lotti calls “trogs.”
A trog, as the legend goes, is a mix between a troll and a hog. A troll guards the low areas of the Spartan offense, while the hog stands for power.
With a win against Lumpkin County (5-4, 4-1 Region 7-AAA) on Friday, the O-line can add another nickname to its
repertoire — region champions.
“We’re the ones that don’t always get the glory, but without us, they’re not going too far,” said Jacob Taylor, a senior tight end and outside linebacker.
West Hall’s offensive line is finally healthy at exactly the right time, according to offensive line coach Krofton Montgomery. After being forced to miss four games with a strained knee, senior Cole Davis will be back as center. He was injured on the first play of an Oct. 10 win over East Hall, which meant senior Devin Hughes had to move over from guard to fill the position.
As of Wednesday night, Davis is expected to hand off to quarterback Jacob Satterfield in the season finale against Lumpkin County, giving an already formidable offensive line yet another weapon. Friday’s winner will become the Region 7-AAA champion, guaranteeing a No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
“I would expect them to be confident,” Montgomery said after practice at Spartan Field. “This is as healthy as we’ve been all year. [Cole]’s our strongest lineman and we can move Devin back to his strongest position. I want to have Cole in the fire. I have confidence we can come out very strong this week.”
Behind the trogs, West Hall (8-1, 5-0) has averaged 32.5 points per game, including four games with more than four touchdowns.
Running back Kwon Williams leads the team with 11 scores, while the offense has combined to produce three wins with more than 500 yards of total offense (East Hall, North Hall and Fannin County).
With such a potent run offense (29 touchdowns in nine games), Montgomery and his offensive coordinators often have limited tape to help the offensive line improve.
Last week’s win at Banks County, which began with a 7-6 halftime deficit, was an important turning point for some of the trogs.
“We only played 38 plays on offense (in a 49-0 win over Fannin County on Oct. 24), so there’s not a lot of film to watch and grade,” said Montgomery. “But Banks gave us what was the best game they had all year. We weren’t clicking, but once we got back into it, we did what we had to do.”
Williams scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to ice the victory, setting up a region title date with the Indians, who are averaging 348 yards per game.
Lumpkin County has made a habit of converting on opponents’ turnovers. The Indians completed a 96 yard scoring drive after recovering a Dawson County fumble last week in a 42-19 rout.
“One of our values is to protect the baby (football),” said Davis. “(The running backs) have got to do their job, but we’ve got to make sure they’ve got somewhere to get to and keep the baby safe.”
Lotti’s offense will gain an extra dynamic with senior running back Cameron Millsap being cleared to play. Alongside fellow backs Tyquan Statham (four touchdowns, 9.4 yards per rush) and Jay Crawford (five touchdowns), Millsap gives Montgomery and his line added incentive to make sure West Hall’s offense stays on its record-breaking pace.
The trogs say they’re ready.
“We’re expecting to come out on fire,” said senior tackle Blaine Satterfield. “We love putting the running backs in the end zone.”