Delavan-Darien offense has plenty of firepower

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Thursday, October 28, 2010
— Lanz Lancaster said life as a Delavan-Darien High School offensive lineman is pretty good.

The Comets, with an arsenal of playmakers, are averaging 38.5 points a game en route to a 9-1 record and a WIAA Division 3, Level 2 game looming on Saturday at Lodi.

Lancaster said the blocks don't have to be perfect, the holes very big or the passes precise for the Comets to move the ball.

Justin Fowlkes, Austin Fritzinger, Marcus McLin and Jordan Hesebeck are making the plays. Lancaster, Esli Garcia, Dakota Perez and the rest of the offensive line are making it possible.

"Having the skill players that we have makes our job that much easier," Lancaster said. "We make mistakes (in the line), and our job is to correct them as the game goes on, but a lot of times, you might not notice because our skill players are so good at making us look good.

"It's unbelievable how many times we might not make the perfect block or the right read, but yet we score on the play. It's a lot of fun being a part of that."

The Comets have spread the wealth offensively. The team is averaging 289.9 yards rushing and 137.8 yards passing per game.

Fritzinger started the season at quarterback after earning All-Southern Lakes first-team honors in 2009, but he injured his shoulder midway through this season. Fowlkes took over at quarterback and helped guide the Comets to the undisputed conference title.

Fritzinger has played sparingly the last two games as the left shoulder continues to give him trouble, but the offense has not missed a beat with Fowlkes directing things out of the Wildcat formation.

"We have a lot of confidence in whoever is back there," Perez said of the quarterback spot, where junior Kyndle Bennett also has done an admirable job in Fritzinger's absence. "We know we're a better team when Austin's on the field, but Justin also gives us a different dimension that's hard to defend.

"Justin has incredible moves. He breaks away and is quick on his cuts. And like Lanz said, we don't have to be perfect every play. That makes it easier."

Delavan-Darien came into the season with high hopes. A rigorous off-season conditioning program got things going, and it continued during the season as the Comets won their opener by blasting Whitewater, 62-7, and followed that up with a 34-14 win over defending Division 4 champion Walworth Big Foot.

Garcia said buying into the team concept was never an option. The Comets are a closely knit team from closely knit communities. That's why the offensive linemen don't care about remaining in the shadows of the talented playmakers. Winning trumps everything else.

"We stick together, execute plays and try to correct what needs to be corrected," Garcia said.

"Right now, we don't need to change things up much."

Not when you're a lineman for one of the state's most potent offenses.

Last updated: 3:07 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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