Isaiah Apperwhite has spent the last few years working tirelessly on his footwork and technique. As a three-year starter at right guard, Apperwhite understands the O’Bryant football team is at its best when the line is blocking in unison, creating holes for the team’s skill players to gain chunk yards.
He takes the task personally.
“It’s all about coming out aggressive and showing the work we put in during the week,” said Apperwhite. “I’ve worked hard to truly become the leader of this team, to become more dominant, and set an example for my teammates.”
The senior captain paved the way in Friday’s 24-8 win over Boston City League rival Brighton, pancaking rushers as the Tigers racked up 150 rushing yards and scored three touchdowns on the ground.
Checking out some City League football action this afternoon as Brighton (2-0) visits O’Bryant (0-1).— Matt Doherty (@m_doherty23) September 22, 2023
The Bengals are averaging 40 points per game, but O’Bryant is up 8-0 early after a 7-yard TD run by Montavius Zollarcoffer.
Updates coming @GlobeSchools pic.twitter.com/Fqka8xqEWz
Apperwhite also calls out blitzes and organizes his fellow linemen against differing defensive packages. As a result, O’Bryant (1-1) controlled the line of scrimmage and dominated time of possession, avenging losses to the Bengals in each of the last two seasons.
“It’s mental, too,” said Apperwhite. “Having both IQ and physicality. It’s my job to make sure we know our assignments and where the defense is coming from.”
The biggest beneficiary of Apperwhite’s play was speedy running back Montavius Zollarcoffer, who totaled 110 yards and two touchdowns.
Some trickery from O’Bryant on 4th and goal from the 8.— Matt Doherty (@m_doherty23) September 22, 2023
Zollarcoffer takes the end-around and easily trots in for his second TD of the game. He then catches the 2-pt conversion.
16-0 O’Bryant early second quarter. @GlobeSchools pic.twitter.com/ce2AS9LItW
On O’Bryant’s first drive of the game, Apperwhite sealed the right edge and Zollarcoffer scampered 7 yards into the end zone untouched. The play set the tone for the game.
“Isaiah will be making the blocks, I’ll be making my cuts and then we go,” said Zollarcoffer. “Isaiah’s always been on point for three years now.”
With only nine seniors on the team, O’Bryant coach Kevin Gadson is counting on Apperwhite and Zollarcoffer to provide leadership. The Tigers are still rebuilding from a senior-laiden 2020 team that finished 7-1.
After suffering a 20-6 defeat to Boston Latin last week, Friday’s win was a step in the right direction. O’Bryant controlled the trenches and Apperwhite played a big part.
“Isaiah sets a big example for us,” said junior center Zekaih Cruz. “I’ve learned so much from him and my coaches. Now, we just have to continue the momentum.”